Pestalozzi

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Bright Young Things join forces with Pestalozzi

An international charity from Sedlescombe, the young owner of a Brighton nightclub and a group of hospitality students from University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus. It was an unusual constellation of people to carry out a charity awareness event for Brighton business people, but the team attracted restaurateurs, educators, artists and bankers to raise awareness for Pestalozzi in early May.

Article by The True Face student PR team, University of Brighton Eastbourne campus.

Pestalozzi display at JackieO event

This year, hospitality students from the University of Brighton have been part of ‘Bright Young Things’ – a pilot project that offers students hands-on work experience in the field of public relations. Pestalozzi is one of 12 ‘real-life clients’ taking part in the project, and has collaborated with an undergraduate student PR team on marketing communication activities.

Pestalozzi is an international educational charity offering two year scholarships to academically bright but economically disadvantaged 16-19 year old students from around the world, giving them the chance to realise their potential. In cooperation with Sussex Coast College Hastings, Pestalozzi gives students the opportunity to take their International Baccalaureate. The charity currently hosts 50 students from seven different countries: Belize, India, Nepal, the Tibetan communities in exile, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The organisation promotes holistic education, developing the whole person – their ‘Head, Heart and Hands’.

Bright Young Things teamAlthough the charity has been active for more than 50 years, it is not as well-known as it once was. Bright Young Things students were asked to carry out an awareness event in Brighton to help raise the profile of the charity. The students met the challenge of a tiny budget by collaborating with the Jackie’O nightclub owner Elena Psarros. Jackie’O provided the spacious and stylish venue free of charge to use in support Pestalozzi. The student team invited language schools, educational organisations, restaurateurs and local businesses.

However, their first working experience also put them to the test. "The word ‘charity’ seems to scare people away nowadays,” explained the student account manager, Vera Mishina. "Often the businesses we approached were hesitant to join the event, as they believed we would be asking for large amounts of money and not simply for their interest and attention.”

On the day of the event, the venue was decorated Pestalozzi red, snacks and drinks were distributed and Pestalozzi representatives and Bright Young Things students were excited to welcome business people and tell them about the charity’s work. Claire Gapare and Timothy Mazai, two Pestalozzi students from Zimbabwe, talked about their background, their experiences in the UK and their future plans, creating quite an impression with the attendees. "To hear teenagers talking so motivatedly about their career plans is very inspiring,” said the owner of an Italian restaurant. "The message of this charity should definitely be carried to a broader audience.”

Student team with Pestalozzi materialsDespite the challenges they faced, the student team was able to accomplish their task and their ‘real-life client’ Pestalozzi has agreed to continue the Bright Young Things collaboration with the University of Brighton. Pestalozzi’s Marketing Officer Jonathan Williams put it this way, "The students are in a learning process and, because this is a pilot project, so are we. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, but it has been a very valuable experience for us all. The events they've run have given us the opportunity to communicate Pestalozzi’s work to a circle people we might not have otherwise reached. We look forward to working with another University of Brighton team next year.”

Could you run an awareness raising event for Pestalozzi? How about a quiz night, sponsored walk or charity concert? Get in touch with Darren Maylam to have a chat: 01424 871904 or darren.maylam@pestalozzi.org.uk