Sussex Police take part in initiative to mentor and inspire young people
Main article content
Above: PC Jordan Smith from the Roads Policing Unit (RPU) talks to the students.
Police in St Leonards have joined an initiative to mentor and inspire young people in the town.
The ‘Dare to Dream’ programme was created by the Love Local Jobs Foundation Community Interest Company and is led by local radio personality Jack ‘The Lad’ Hayes, who currently co-presents the breakfast show on More FM.
Several Sussex Police officers joined Jack in delivering talks to Year Nine pupils at St Leonards Academy with the message of ‘it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s about what you can achieve’.
Sergeant Scott Gosling acted as project co-ordinator and engaged with the students throughout the programme. He said: “My colleagues and I are really pleased that we were able to support the Dare to Dream programme and engage with young people from our local communities.
“The talks Jack provided were informative and relevant, and it was clear the students were completely engaged with what he was saying.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for us to be able to provide mentoring to some of the students and provide advice from experiences we’ve had in work and from growing up.”
Above, pictured left to right: Jack ‘The Lad’ Hayes, Neighbourhood Youth Officer PC Charlotte Williams, Reboot Co-ordinator Ben West, Neighbourhood Youth Officer PC Vicki Renel and Sgt. Scott Gosling
The talks were designed to improve self-confidence and resilience, with modules including The Journey, The Skills and The Ultimate Goal. The programme culminated with a tour around Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes.
Sussex Police have a long-standing relationship with the Love Local Jobs Foundation having helped to support programmes for local young people since 2018. Jack became involved after leaving Heart Radio in 2019 following a career he never imagined was possible.
He said: “I grew up in South London. I was a proper council house boy – I’d been in four homes by the time I was 10 years old. I was bullied in secondary school – we had no money; my clothes didn’t fit, and my mum couldn’t change it. My early life wasn’t pointing me towards the success I’ve since enjoyed both personally and professionally. It’s really important to me that the young people we support via Dare to Dream understand that where they are now doesn’t have to determine where they end up.
“I really enjoyed going into school and engaging with the students – especially the ones that need to change their perspective. As a result of the programme, I’ve seen both their confidence and belief grow.”
The courses are run with various employers around Sussex and will recommence in the second week of September.