Suffolk businesses urged to sign up to help tackle social exclusion among young people

Steve Flory of the Hudson Group in Needham Market.

Steve Flory of the Hudson Group in Needham Market. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Businesses in Suffolk are being urged to sign up to support an initiative which aims to raise the aspirations of marginalised young people.

Ipswich Building Society and Hudson Group are among the businesses which have already pledged support for a pilot scheme being launched next month by Martlesham Heath-based charity Lapwing Education.

This puts them at risk of abuse or being drawn into criminality and their chances of achieving qualifications and joining the labour market are low.

The Lapwing pilot scheme aims to offer the young people it works with the chance to visit a local business, hopefully encouraging a greater sense of ambition and leading on to work exerpience opportunities.

Sophy Jones, chief executive of Lapwing, said: “Lapwing offers the lifeline of tailored education, experiences of work and the opportunity to develop personal attributes such as resilience, positive decision-making skills and character.

“With our support students can successfully transition back into education, work and their community.”

Besides enrolling more employers to support the initaitive, the launch event, taking place on Thursday, February 2, at Quay Place, St Mary at the Quay, in Ipswich, will offer an opportunity for business networking.

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Speakers at the event will include include Sophy Jones, Joanne Leek, head of marketing and brand at Ipswich Building Society, and Steve Flory, managing director at Hudson Group.

Joanne Leek said: “By inviting students into the workplace we can educate and inspire; it’s a simple initiative but can have a great impact even by raising the aspirations of just one student.”

Steve Flory added: “Not all students have family friends to introduce them into the work place or set up summer internships. We want local businesses to open their doors to those hard to reach students who don’t usually get such opportunities.”

Places at the launch event are free of charge but advance registration is essential. To register, call Wendy Quantrill at Lapwing Education on 01473 621762.