A new initiative to provide young people in east Suffolk with the skills to broaden their horizons, find work or start their own businesses celebrates its official launch next month.

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Led by Jenny Stockman, chairman of the Framlingham Business Association, the Fresh Aspirations Forums, aims to inspire and encourage young people from the town and help them develop into mature, confident adults.

Forum members, aged 11 to 25, will be offered support from the local business community, who will be invited to pass on their “tricks of the trade” to help the youngsters achieve their future ambitions.

Ms Stockman said: “We have a wealth of talent in the town, both in the business community and within an extended network throughout the county. We also have some brilliant facilities and community initiatives, including a radio station, film company, web businesses, regional media and a top flight business hub.

“This initiative will pull all the business and community expertise together to benefit our younger citizens who will have access to some of the best hands on coaching, facilities and mentoring available.

“This is a life changing initiative which will secure a positive future for the town and its young people.”

Funding for the project has offered by district councillors Colin Walker and Christopher Hudson through the Community Enabling Budget. It has the backing of many of the town’s businesses, schools and community groups including Suffolk Constabulary and Sizewell C.

Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, has pledged the news group’s involvement and his personal support.

Chris Wright, a businesses studies and human resources management student at Canterbury Christ Church University and one of the project’s first recruits, said: “Fresh Aspirations Forum is a much-needed project.

“I believe it will help young people to become more interested in their field by providing practical, real-life experience. Projects like this one are vital to our future success economically.”

The group will meet weekly at Framlingham Technology Centre. During the meetings coaching will be given in skills such as photography, website building, using social media, radio presenting and editing, copy writing, journalism and filming. An office has been set aside which will be available for the over-16s who need to ‘hot desk’.

The formal launch of the project is planned for September 18 at Framlingham Technology Centre. Visit www.freshaspirations.co.uk for more information.

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