Chesterfield Champions


Champion of the Week

Rebecca Kuchta DEBP

Rebecca Kuchta, Communications Coordinator – Direct Education Business Partnership

I am Rebecca Kuchta, Communications Coordinator with Direct Education Business Partnership. We support children, young people, and vulnerable adults to have a positive future, by equipping them with the opportunities and tools for success. Chesterfield is where our head office is based and where I live too.

What was the greatest achievement for your business or organisation over the past year?

We have seen a significant increase in our work with young people/adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). One of the projects we are working on is one of only seven awarded nationally by The Youth Futures Foundation. It examines the processes and pathways available for young people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism, to enter employment.

How would you describe Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, using only three words?

Character, Generosity & Evolving.

What are your favourite places to visit in Chesterfield and why?

I really enjoy visiting Chesterfield Artisan Market which takes place on the last Sunday of each month. It’s a great place to pick up some unique gifts and some delicious food from local makers.

How is your business or organisation becoming more sustainable?

We offer a blend of office, remote, and on-the-go working. Whilst there is a value to in-person meetings we also encourage virtual meetings to lessen travel whenever possible.

Why do you love working or doing business in Chesterfield or North Derbyshire?

We are always overwhelmed by the generosity of people locally. An important element of our work is the engagement of employers, and we are always grateful to the many volunteers who give their time freely to support us.

How are you supporting young people in your business?

Our Supported Insight Scheme is a blend of in-school delivery alongside onsite workplace experience. It provides young people with SEND with the opportunity to understand the world of work and prepares them for possible transition into a Supported Internship. Many of the learners that take part progress onto our Project SEARCH-supported Internships at one of our sites, the most local being at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

As part of the Youth Futures Foundation, Connected Futures project, we have employed four Youth Voice Ambassadors to centre the voice of lived experience and enable young people with learning disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Conditions to create solutions to identified issues. This project is the first of its kind and we look forward to working with our partners as the project progresses.

How are you, your business or your team supporting local people?

We support Made in Chesterfield which aims to introduce young people to careers in the manufacturing, engineering, science, technology, property, and construction industries. We also run Open Doors, giving groups of young people an insight into the workings of different businesses and sectors, to break down misconceptions and stereotypes and to highlight the ‘unseen’ roles within businesses.

Which upcoming project do you think will have the greatest impact on the town and why?

We are excited to be involved in a brand-new programme that was piloted in Chesterfield last academic year. Careers Made in Chesterfield delivers careers-related workshops in schools and forges links with local businesses. The pilot is focused on the property and construction sector, but the project will widen over the next four years to include health and care, and engineering and manufacturing.

What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?

We want to continue to increase young people’s awareness of the opportunities available to them, the skills required for success, and an understanding of the changing employment landscape around them. To achieve this, we need to see more careers-related programmes developed in partnership with local employers, to ensure young people are developing skills employers value and look for.

DEBP

DEBP specialise in supporting the aspirational decision making of young people and adults to shape their future.

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