Citizenship For Life (C4L) is a programme which works with businesses to give young people an insight into the working world. Charlotte Chadwick is employed by Cornwall Council to run the scheme which increases self esteem, builds employment skills and broadens horizons for participants. Ten 13 year old students have been given the opportunity to participate in this project. They are drawn from the schools at Helston and Mullion in Cornwall. Parts of Cornwall are ranked as the most deprived in the UK along side some inner city areas and the students come from a range of backgrounds.
The students came to visit the Manchester office at the beginning of April, accompanied by mentors from various organisations across Cornwall. They were split into three different groups and each group was shown a short film about the Big Issue in the North and given a talk by staff at the office in Manchester. They were taken on an outreach session which involves visiting the pitches in the city centre and seeing vendors at work. Finally the students were given a presentation from Advertising Manager, Steve Doyle and Director, Caroline Price about the magazine and the editorial process.
The group thoroughly enjoyed their day, commenting “what a fantastic day you all gave us at the Big Issue office.” They added ‘You made a great impression on our youngsters who have started to think in Big Issue currency, eg “to buy a sandwich I would have to sell three copies of the ‘Big Issue’, and to do that I would have to stand in the street in all weathers for 45 minutes!”‘ We appreciated the opportunity to show a younger generation the importance of our work and hope we inspired them to embrace their social consciences.