Tell us a bit about your job?
My job title is Manager – Communications, Business for good. That means I bring together and communicate all the different things we’re doing to be a responsible airline, one that believes in using business as a force for good. That includes how we treat our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. A big part of that is our Passport to Change programme.
How did Passport to Change come about?
Passport to Change came about through our partnership with WE, who work with young people across the UK, empowering them to become change makers in their local communities. WE’s people go into schools as far afield as the Hebrides, or Northern Ireland – all over the UK – and do an assembly or a workshop to help the kids figure out how they want to make a difference. The WE team then help the students throughout the academic year in making that change happen.
We wanted to work with WE a bit differently to get our people more directly involved, and focus on schools local to our office – so we started Passport to Change. Our people are much more hands on, going into schools themselves to deliver career talks, or workshops, or mentoring to 11 to 14-year-olds. We’re in three schools right now, but we’re excited to see it grow as more people become involved.
Another important aspect of Passport to Change is that it’s really angled around STEM. We know more boys study these subjects. We want to show students at this age – boys and girls – the wide variety of people we have working for us, so they know they can really do anything.
It’s also really important that we find the right schools to work with. I did loads of research in the areas we wanted to launch in, focusing on schools that maybe didn’t have great Ofsted results, with a high percentage of kids on free schools meals, which is an indicator of how disadvantaged the population is in that school. It’s important we only work with schools that will really benefit. We don’t want to work where there are already loads of opportunities, where the kids go on planes all the time, or they already have access to the things we’re introducing to these students.