Idea Overview:
Young people can often feel like they have a lack of support, guidance, encouragement and inspiration. They can also feel invisible or lost when sitting in a classroom with twenty other students. Why? There are many reasons for this so there is not one easy solution, but one thing that might help is one-to-one mentoring and coaching. Therefore, I have created a six week one-to-one mentoring/coaching programme for school students in Key Stage 3 (11-14 year olds). It focuses on their wellbeing, offering support and encouragement and helping them become the best version of themselves by setting goals. It identifies them as individuals and tailors the programme to their individual needs, whilst giving the students someone external to talk to. An important thing to note is it will be a safe space but safeguarding will be taken very seriously. Why do young people and schools need this? Schools have to prioritise academia but that often ends up neglecting wellbeing and mental health. If young people start to feel happier and more positive, not only will it make their lives better but it might improve their school performance and result in less students failing and dropping out of school. My business will offer them support when they might feel alone. Sometimes all someone needs is a simple question, "are you okay?".
Who might use it/where it might be used?:
Students aged 11-14/Key Stage 3 are the target market. I want it to be open to all of the students as mental health is a delicate thing and not obvious, but it is not realistic to start with everyone unless the school is small. Ideally students who are interested in the service would put themselves forward to the school and I would start with them. I would aim to partner with schools to deliver the coaching during school hours as it needs to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. Where it goes in the timetable would have to be up to the school, but I am aware it could mean students miss part of their lessons (most likely the subjects deemed as less important for the school). The programme would be best delivered in person but if the school prefers it online, that's not a problem. Regarding the mentors/coaches, they should be relatable for the students, empathetic and diverse people students want to open up to. They won't need to be qualified coaches; I don't want education to be a barrier, their personality and experience is more important.
The Market (B2B, B2C or Both):
Business to Business (B2B)
Sector the idea belongs to:
Is there a similar idea to be found?:
There are roles such as Progress Coaches who are embedding wellbeing into the school curriculum, but there is still a strong focus on academia (study skills) and careers advice. Students do not get the individual coaching and support they need. Progress Coaches and similar roles also do not physically have enough time to see a lot of the students one to one and still fulfil their other responsibilities. I was a Progress Coach in a FE college and the students much preferred the one to one time we had over the group classes and workshops. It was more beneficial for them as they were treated as individuals and got tailored support. All of their classes were as groups so this let them feel special. Sadly I did not have time to see them all one to one as I had over 200 students and a busy timetable but many students hung around after lesson or arranged a time to see me when I was not teaching.
Why you think there is a demand for your idea?:
50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 24. Also, there is a high rate of failure, drop outs and students skipping lessons in secondary school. This could be down to several factors, including: - Feeling lonely/having no one to talk to about certain things in their life - A lack of support and encouragement - Too much of a focus on academia and study skills in schools, not enough on the students' wellbeing and mental health - Too much pressure - Feeling invisible I currently tutor one to one and one of my students said it has changed her life; she has a much better relationship with education now. She speaks about some of the things that are bothering her during our lessons, she feels lighter when she does this. I want more students to feel like this but I don't want it to be limited to only families doing well financially.
Who would be the ideal customers?:
I will focus on schools in London (South East London to be specific) first as that is my hometown and has more schools than other cities. Within that, students in Key Stage 3, 11-14 years old, are the target market for the service
What ideas do you have to reach these customers?:
Reaching out to schools can be difficult as I need to know the right people to talk to, or hope I get put forward to the right people. I was advised to contact a school board or a borough council in order to get maximum exposure to schools in that local area, which is most likely the route I will go. Regardless, I will do a lot of research and keep trying to reach out to people. I do business development in my current job at Goldsmiths, University of London, so I will use what I learnt there and in previous sales roles.
How far have you developed this idea?:
Right now it is just an idea. I am looking for someone to help me fine tune this idea and help me with things I have not yet considered
What – if any – feedback have you had for this idea so far?:
I have discussed this with a few friends and family members and they think it is a good idea, which has given me the encouragement to continue working on it and now trying to find a mentor or some sort of guidance
What supporting material – if any - would you like to add to your proposal?:
None at the moment, it is very early on in the idea stage

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