Multi award-winning and internationally renowned marine electronics brand Actisense, from Active Research Limited, has become the latest Dorset company to support a school’s membership of the Dorset Young Chamber through its sponsorship of St Edward’s School in Poole. 

Actisense is a keen supporter of engagement with schools and the company first became aware of St Edwards School when it was invited to judge an inter-school STEM* competition at Bournemouth and Poole College where students of St Edwards School won both first and second place.

Phil Whitehurst, Chief Executive Officer at Actisense, said: “When the opportunity to sponsor a school’s membership of Young Chamber arose, St Edwards was naturally a good fit.  The subsequent meeting with the school arranged through the Young Chamber reaffirmed this; it is clear that the school has a ‘from the top’ approach to delivering academic results hand-in-hand with a strong understanding of the working world, so students are prepared for their future careers. 

“Our sponsorship of St Edwards School’s Young Chamber membership will not only allow our business to develop a relationship directly with the school, it gives the teaching staff access to the experiences of other Dorset Chamber companies, of which we are members.  Young Chamber is a great initiative and we are certain from our discussions, that St Edwards school will make the most of it.”

Actisense’s support has already enabled Young Chamber to introduce several Dorset Chamber member businesses in Poole to the school, to help with Mock Interviews.  Young Chamber Coordinator, Joan Senior has also briefed teaching staff on how Young Chamber programme operates, with the aim of bringing the world of work into the classroom in a format that will be both curriculum and careers relevant.

Michael Antram, Headteacher at St Edward’s School, said: “We found Phil’s success story incredibly inspiring; how he set up Actisense and developed it into such a successful business with the right team in place.  It is very important to us that our students can see that success, in whatever field they choose, typically comes by drive and hard work. We want them to hear first-hand that successful people are also human, and can learn from mistakes; and that often it is the right attitude to making the most of their talents, whether academic or otherwise, that will make a difference to their working lives.

Mr Antram added: “We firmly believe that we have a responsibility to all of our students for them to leave school as well-rounded individuals; and with a strong sense of what is required of them when they reach the world of work. We look forward to our membership of Young Chamber helping us to bring real life inspiration from business people into the school.”

Young Chamber is a British Chambers of Commerce and Industry initiative designed to bridge the gap between business and education.  Young Chamber in Dorset works with the Careers and Enterprise Company and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), all of whom are addressing the need for greater involvement between businesses and schools for the benefit of young people entering the world of work.

Ian Girling, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber said: “There is a huge amount of support for the Young Chamber across our business members and no shortage of individuals and companies who are happy to give their time or that of their staff to share experiences with the next generation of employees in Dorset.  It is with deep thanks to sponsors like Actisense that we are able to coordinate this activity and help schools to tap into the rich and diverse expertise and experience of our Dorset Chamber Members.”

Young Chamber in Dorset currently has several schools seeking business sponsors, as well as schools asking for speakers and site visits for students in different sectors.  For more information, please contact Joan Senior, Young Chamber Coordinator at joan.senior@dcci.co.uk

*Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics