We want to inspire, Educate, motivate and transform
Laura Sandys is the Member of Parliament for South Thanet. For more information, please visit: www.telllaura.org.ukor e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Sandys Academy:
There's an old adage that goes 'if opportunity doesn't knock, build a door' and it's a saying that I stick by. I'm always looking to expand the number of opportunities available for local residents and for Thanet as a whole. Opportunity is particularly important for young people who are making decisions now that will influence the entire trajectory of their lives.
Next week I am delighted to be building a very large door of opportunity and hosting the very first Sandys Academy; a week-long summer school experience like no other for a group of female students from one of our local schools. The week is going to be fun, intellectually stimulating and, I very much hope, inspirational.
The whole idea came to me late last year when I was at a school in South Thanet speaking with teachers who were telling me that their female students were not aspiring quite as highly as their male counterparts. It wasn't the first time that I'd heard this and it certainly wasn't to be the last. We need more women putting themselves forward and aiming high. There are still far too few women around the world in decision-making roles, whether that be on the board of a company or in governance. Of course all of this begins with aspiration and so with the teachers' words echoing in my mind, I decided that I wanted to do something that would open eyes and broaden horizons. I began to put together a week that would inspire, educate, motivate and all-importantly transform a group of girls' lives.
Next week the students will embark on an action-packed week that will include: a trip to Oxford to learn more about life at one of our top universities; a visit to the Sky News HQ to see a broadcast in action and meet with a female anchor; a tour of international pharmaceutical giant Pfizer's world-class labs; an audience with The Lord Speaker Baroness D'Souza; a trip to see Les Miserables on stage in the West-End; a day out at sea with the multi-national Vattenfall visiting our wind farm; and a visit to Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. With just a quick glance down this list, you'll see that the week has received huge support and so many people have been extremely generous. In particular, the week has been very kindly sponsored by Vattenfall and Southeastern trains, without whom the whole experience would simply not be possible.
I am planning to organise more programmes like this for students from Thanet, creating new and exciting opportunities. I hope that next week will be a real eye-opener for all the girls involved, showing them that the world really is their oyster. Watch this space!
- 'Laura's View'- Isle of Thanet Gazette. Friday 11th July 2014