I thoroughly endorse this initiative and have been proud to contribute.
This is how it first came about.
In 2010 I was interviewed for a BBC programme about the financial crisis by Robert Peston. By a strange quirk of fate, I realised that in my restaurant supply days I had served his sister, the likeable and very talented chef Juliet Peston, who was the force behind an even more famous chef – Alistair Little.
Robert and I got chatting, and to cut a long story short, it became apparent to me, when my two eldest children went to secondary school, that the state school system was woefully under-resourced in comparison with the fee paying sector, which attracts the best speakers for its students: people from all walks of life, who are able to inspire, help to mentor and give guidance on the basis of their successful experience.
I had in the back of my mind that Robert Peston had set something up to try to address this imbalance. He essentially said to me: get involved with my charity ‘Speakers for Schools’
As a result, the following week I had the great pleasure to tell my story to the Business Course students of Barnet and Southgate College . We covered my journey of entrepreneurship and explored some of its key attributes, eg: who is suited to being an entrepreneur? What role does the entrepreneur play in society? I talked about some of my failures – things for them to avoid – and much more.
The whole experience I felt was very worthwhile and I would urge anyone whose professional experience might spur on the lives of young people to give your time, no matter how you are pressed for time. If you can change one life for the better, then it’s worth it.