Buffini Chao trustee, Sue, spent a very uplifting afternoon at Aston University as a judge for the Envision Community Apprentice Pitching Challenge. Ten teams from Sixth Forms in Birmingham each presented their idea for a social action campaign to raise awareness for an issue that impacts the physical or mental health of young people in their area. Back in September these teams of young people were challenged by Paul Jennings, CEO of the Birmingham & Solihull NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to come up with behavioural change campaigns that would have the biggest impact amongst their peers; and help tackle two of Birmingham’s biggest youth health challenges-obesity and mental health.

The young people had worked on their social action projects and presentations with the support of local business mentors and the Envision team. They demonstrated confidence, creativity, teamwork and grit to get their messages across. The experienced panel of judges from local businesses and charities awarded monetary prizes (between £70 and £100 each) which the teams can now spend on bringing their ideas to life. Over the next few months the teams will put their social action campaign into practice and will then return for the final Boardroom Challenge. This final will see the young people present back about the differences they have made in their community and the skills they have developed.

Envision runs this inter-school competition, Community Apprentice, in Birmingham, London and Bristol. Over the ten month period youngsters develop and evidence the competencies most valued by employers. The Buffini Chao Foundation is proud to be one of the supporters of Envision and Sir Damon Buffini is delighted to see a programme that equips young people with skills that will help them to be successful in the workplace.