Pledge count exceeds 1,000

The team from Ashdown Hurrey
The team from Ashdown Hurrey

THE number of pledges to help young people into work in the Own Grown campaign has exceeded 1,000.

Ashdown Hurrey chartered accountants made the 1,000th pledge this week, taking the total up to 1,013. Only 53 more pledges are now needed to make the target of 1,066.

The year-long Own Grown campaign was launched in February with the aim of helping young people in 1066 Country acquire skills and experience to help them into employment.

Businesses can help by offering to give talks in schools, or offer work experience or apprenticeships, among other things.

Partner Carl Read, from Ashdown Hurrey, said: “It has been a worthwhile experience taking part in the Own Grown initiative. We have a long history of recruiting staff locally and offer a full study package to assist them in obtaining the relevant work experience and qualifications.”

Mark Weeks-Pearson, a partner at the firm’s Hastings office, and chairman of the local Young Enterprise Board, said: “Myself and the firm have supported hundreds of students from secondary schools in the area over the last few years to set up their own companies through the Young Enterprise Company Programme. We recognise that these students are potential employees and clients, so the more prepared they are for the business world the better, as this can only assist in improving the economy locally.”

Ian Noble, from Business in the Community, one of Own Grown’s founding partners, said: “Exceeding 1,000 pledges is a fantastic milestone; each and every pledge fulfilled will make a difference in the lives of young people preparing them for the world of work. We are close now to achieving our 1,066 target and I’m confident that we will get there in the next couple of weeks.”

Cllr Peter Chowney, Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for regeneration, said: “I’m very proud of the role we have been able to play in this, with our Own Grown team playing a co-ordinating role, persuading employers to participate in the scheme and putting them in touch with the training bodies.”

To pledge email, visit or ring 01424 451795.