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PL Enterprise gives Newcastle pupils chance to shine

29 Aug 2019
CC

How Premier League scheme has helped pupils at Southlands School in North Shields overcome their fears

Southlands School in North Shields, near Newcastle, is just one of the schools feeling the long-term benefit of taking part in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge.

The school, which caters for young people with moderate learning difficulties, competed in Newcastle United Foundation's regional heat at the start of the year, with the team formulating business ideas, financial forecasts and presentations.

"They had to go and present to a panel of businesspeople and stand up in front of a crowd of 50 to 100 in the audience," says David Ferguson, Southlands assistant headteacher.

"For some of our students who won't even get up in assembly to receive a certificate, it was great to see."

Ryan and Michael were part of the team taking part in the challenge, which is delivered in partnership with Sport Relief and aims to help raise confidence, self-esteem and aspirations.

Showing pride

"I felt nervous but in the end I found it really easy and I really enjoyed it," says Ryan. "I feel like I've got some really big experience from this and am really proud of myself."

Michael adds: "I got involved to basically try and overcome my fears, my anxiety, and it helped me a lot with my confidence."

Southlands has been involved with PL Enterprise for the last 10 years and gives its pupils the opportunity to interact with peers at mainstream schools.

"Personally, coming to Southlands is a fantastic experience, to be able to work with some children who have slightly different needs to a mainstream school," adds Andy Foster, Schools Project Manager at Newcastle United Foundation.

"To see how they interact, they develop as part of the course and to see them at the end of it with their increased confidence, self-esteem and some of the business skills they have picked up, is absolutely fantastic."

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