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Write on! Businesses highlight benefits of royal writing event

13th February 2017

A charity which promotes writing in schools is hoping to secure the support of more businesses after the success of a royal showcase.

First Story presented some of its work to the Duchess of Cornwall as she visited The Deep during her day in Hull. Her presence also attracted influential people from the corporate world who emphasised the importance of writing skills to young people preparing for the world of work.

Jan Brumby, Chief Executive of For Entrepreneurs Only, said: “Employers are looking for people who can communicate professionally both internally in the workplace and externally with customers and clients in a way which this is only going to help.”

First Story has already placed writers in residence at five schools in the Hull area in partnership with Hull 2017 to give young people the chance to find their voices, build their confidence and raise their aspirations.

Business support has already been provided by The Deep as hosts of the royal writing celebration and by Saville Audio Visual, who provided the equipment for First Story’s presentation of awards to students from the five schools.

The Duchess spoke to students and staff from the schools and to organisers of the First Story project including the founder, author William Fiennes, and the Hull-based writers in residence. She also spoke to Nick Sangwin, group managing director of Sangwin, Emma Waudby, sales and marketing manager of Cobus Communications Group, and Phil Withers, manager at RSM UK in Hull.

Nick said: “We already get involved with the Hull Youth Support Trust to help young people set up their own businesses and I think it is great to see people being able to develop the basic skills of reading and writing in an age when social media sometimes takes over.”

Phil added: “RSM recruits a lot of school leavers from Hull so it’s great to see a project like this that gives young people the skills that give them confidence and that they can take into the working environment. It’s fantastic that this project is in this city giving people great opportunities.”

Emma said: “We do a lot of work in schools, providing mentoring and other support to help the children of today become the business champions of tomorrow. It’s very important that businesses get involved in projects such as this.”

The business group watched as the Duchess presented awards to the students and they also discussed the work of First Story with project leaders and the writers in residence.

Jane Chambers, head of development at First Story, said: “'It was great to be able to meet and network with local businesses at an event hosted in the professional and inspiring surroundings of The Deep, where the staff were extremely welcoming and helpful.”

Freya Cross, business and corporate manager at The Deep, said: “We welcomed the opportunity to help First Story present their work to a royal audience in Hull and whilst our role was first and foremost to provide a fitting venue we also used our own contacts to invite some key people from the business community.

“We know from our own work with schools and other organisations that it is vital to engage with young people and to inspire them. That’s what The Deep is all about and it’s why our facilities from the sea labs to the penguins and the presentation expertise were such a good fit with this event.”

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