New Norwich event to inspire young people

Youngsters are set to be inspired to achieve a dream career as a new event is launched this summer.

Anna Jones, 26, and Leila Calton, 27, are to run a three-day entrepreneurship summer school, called Future Forwards, next month for teenagers aged 16 to 18.

The pair, who have both worked with young people for a number of years, had been so inspired by the success stories of young entrepreneurs that they wanted to give other young people hope in the wake of increasing unemployment figures, rocketing university costs and funding for initiatives such as Aim Higher coming to an end.

Their new project is designed to show young people how successful they can be with determination, work experience and a spark of creativity.

The event, backed by a �7,000 European Union grant, will be made up of 12 hands-on master classes run by fellow young people, each wanting to pass on their tips for success.

From top chefs to young pub owners, media savvy web designers to dance instructors, the event will cover a broad range of careers.

Miss Calton, who lives in Norwich city centre and works at the University of East Anglia as an outreach co-ordinator, said: 'Aim Higher has been a great a initiative, working with young people in areas where there tend to be groups that are under-represented in higher education but that is all coming to an end.

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'Connexions has also been greatly reduced and it's come at a time when unemployment is high, it's harder to get a job and tuition fees are spiralling.

'We've met a lot of people who have really inspiring jobs and they are all really young.

'We want the message to be that you can get anywhere with a bit if hard graft and inspiration, and that you don't have to be stuck in an office all day if you don't want to be. It's about inspiring young people.'

As previously reported in the Evening News, the government decided to abolish Aim Higher last year and the funding will run out this month.

Norfolk County Council also recently halved the size of its Connexions careers service in the county due to budget cuts.

Future Forwards will be held from August 1 to 3 at Open in Bank Plain, Norwich.

Businesses which will be represented included the restaurant 103 in Unthank Road, the Rumsey Wells pub in St Andrew's Street and Indigo Studios in Lower Goat Lane.

Miss Jones, who lives near Dereham Road and returned to Norwich after working for a year in Germany with the European Voluntary Service, said: 'We wanted to give young people the opportunity to see that there are many ways into a career, plus a lot of careers they have never heard of.

'We want to show them how many opportunities there are out there. Through our professional and personal lives we have met so many people in their twenties and early thirties who were doing so well, these people were inspiring for us, we wanted to share that with young people.'

Future Forwards will run from 10am to 2pm on each of the three days. There will be a choice of hands-on workshops each day. All places are free. For information, email

Are you setting up an event to help inspire young people? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email