Desperate plea made for cash to help continue Get Inspired Portsmouth event that has enthused a generation of city schoolchildren

AN EVENT which has inspired a generation of children into careers is in danger of having to fold due to lack of sponsorship.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 9:57 am
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 6:24 pm
Highbury students, Annie Lewis, Joe Stack, Murray Jacobsen and Maria Bujor at the Get Inspired event with pupils, Molly Babbage, 10, Teegan Lee, 10, Maddie Edmonds, 11, and Anna Shibu, 10. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Get Inspired Portsmouth initiative welcomes thousands of school children to take part in interactive workshops with a host of businesses. However, organisers have warned that this year’s event, which is due to take place at The Guildhall on January 22, could be the last unless additional sponsorship can be found.

Cath Longhurst, chief executive officer at EBP South, which organises the event, said: ‘The initiative has been going for almost a decade but in order to maintain it we need help from local businesses. While the Guildhall Trust has allowed us to use the venue for free, the running costs are still around £15,000. So far we have received £1,000 of sponsorship from one company.’

This year’s event will see 1,400 children from Portsmouth schools aged between nine and 15 learn about careers in professions such as journalism, engineering, medicine, law and the emergency services. Cath says the event provides a vital opportunity for children to broaden their understanding of the different opportunities which exist.

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Pupils get to try on equipment used by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Picture: Mike Storey

‘Many young people aren’t aware of the different employment opportunities which exist,’ she said. ‘The event allows them to get involved in interactive activities as well asking questions to experts from different professions. For some children this event can just light that initial spark which can lead to a career path.’

Cath feels such events are particularly important in locations where there is a strong cultural history of traditional employment.

‘Portsmouth has a long history with the Royal Navy which leads to many important careers but this can lead to a blinkered outlook in which some young people are not as aware of other careers out there,’ she added.

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Cath Longhurst, from EBP South Picture: Sarah Standing

Organisers hope the event will lead to increased aspirations for young people which will contribute to improving academic attainment across the city.

Cath said: ‘Young people in school can be disengaged if they don’t understand the reasons as to why they are studying certain subjects. By speaking to professional people they can suddenly make a tangible connection as to what they need to do – even if it’s someone other than their teachers telling them importance of getting good GCSEs.’

While organisers have assured schools that this year’s event will go ahead they have pleaded with local businesses to help provide sponsorship to secure its future.

Cath said: ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase your company and to engage with potential future employees. The feedback we get from schools indicates that this event does make a real difference to pupils.’

Pupils learn about potential careers in engineering. Picture: Mike Storey Nearly 1,000 young people packed the Portsmouth Guildhall to visit the newly branded ‘Get Inspired Portsmouth’ event (previously known as the Opportunities Fair) on Wednesday 8th February 2017 For Further information contact: Jacquie Jones Project Manager EBP South Ltd Telephon

To find out more call EBP South on 023 9228 3400.