Locally and globally making a difference is engrained in all that we do at Steppes. Each time you travel with us, we donate to a charity in the UK and to an international charity. To date we have raised over one million pounds for conservation, environmental and humanitarian projects. This year we are delighted to highlight our new partnership with the Debrett’s Foundation.
Debrett’s Foundation is the charitable arm of Debrett’s, the 250-year-old British heritage brand with origins as a specialist publisher of the Peerage and Baronetage. For the last 35 years it has also recognised the achievements of leading UK professionals in its annual People of Today. The Debrett’s 500 continues this celebration of influence and achievement. Its learning and development division, Debrett’s Academy, delivers specialist coaching.
Aware that many of the advantages enjoyed by its earliest members are unavailable to the majority of the UK today, Debrett’s set up its Foundation in 2014 to address that imbalance by supporting and championing social mobility.
The Foundation works with talented A-Level students from secondary schools outside London.
Students attend a day of soft skills and business etiquette coaching in London, led by two Debrett’s tutors. A guest speaker from the Debrett’s professional network is invited to share his or her story. After the training day, students have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor from the industry in which they aspire to work, who provides advice and guidance during a year-long arrangement. They can also apply for bursaries to educational programmes and work experience provided by members of the Debrett’s network.
Amie attended her Foundation training day as a shy 16-year-old visiting London from a town outside Nottingham, just before taking her AS-Levels. Amie aspired to become a dentist but was struggling to find work experience where she lived. Following the training, she was paired with a mentor who had worked as a dental practitioner in the army and as a lecturer in forensic odontology. She also attended a summer science programme at Moreton Hall on a full bursary.
Amie’s ambition and drive made such a strong impression on the tutors on the day and during correspondence afterwards, that she was invited to speak at the Debrett’s 500 2016 celebration.
In front of more than 300 of Britain’s most influential individuals, Amie spoke about her training with Debrett’s and the benefits of having a mentor. She captivated the guests, in particular the chief executive of UCAS, Mary Curncock Cook, who gave Amie her business card. Amie followed up promptly and courteously and Mary Curnock Cook invited her to send her UCAS Personal Statement for feedback. Amie got in touch with the Foundation after receiving her A-Level results to let us know that she had been accepted by her first choice university: Sheffield University’s School of Clinical Dentistry.
“I am very fortunate to have been involved in the Debrett’s Foundation and it has led to me securing a place at the University of Sheffield to study Dentistry this September. So many opportunities have arisen that have been of so much benefit and continue to benefit me.