Innovative scheme launched to inspire school children

An innovative free scheme designed to inspire young people to achieve their goals and raise aspiration by using a network of people has been launched in Enfield.

Holler, the brainchild of Enfield born former professional footballer Justin Cochrane, creates a network of people who go into schools to tell young people their stories and inspire them to achieve their dreams. The initiative has been backed by Enfield Council and was launched at St Ignatius College in Turkey Street.

Mr Cochrane said: “This idea has come a long way now, thanks to the support of a team in partnership with Enfield Council. With that combination of community and professionals working together Holler was able to organise its first session, where motivational speaker and published author Karen Allen went into St Ignatious College and facilitated the year 11’s last assembly before their exams.

“In a focus group after the session one young person told us: ‘I felt inspired as she used her life experience to teach us,’ which was always the vison of the Holler team.”

Enfield Council Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “We have excellent schools in Enfield but while providing high quality education is an absolute necessity but it isn’t always enough to ensure young people reach their potential – we need to inspire them to achieve their dreams as well.

“The thing that Holler does is show young people, that people like them, who have grown up in the same circumstances have created a good, fulfilling life through hard work, determination and resilience.

“What we are telling the next generation is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what matters is that you can be a success if you work for it. I’m delighted Enfield Council is supporting the Holler project because it is genuinely innovative and I am confident it will be a great success – it marks a new way of doing things and I am sure this new approach will reap sensational rewards.”

As part of the project the Holler team asks the school to nominate a ‘Holler hero’ before they attend. This award is presented to a student who has exceeded expectations by making significant progress, showing bravery or kindness or for inspiring their peers. Doing so rewards and recognises positive behaviour which is a key part of the Holler ethos.

After numerous public events for the network, including a public speaking workshop where the speakers were given tips on how to tell and structure their stories. They have enlisted the support of a wide range of what will be known as ‘inspirers’.

The inspirers have expressed their own individual reasons behind their support. Professional actor Lindsey Coulson, who played Carol Jackson in EastEnders, said:, ‘I felt inspired by the Holler events I have attended and share the same vision as the team. I can’t wait to be a part of this project’.

Another local resident and professional footballer Joby McAnuff said of the project ‘I believe in the power of inspiring children and I want to use this platform to share my experiences’.

DJ Spoony has reflected one of the true foundations of Holler – ‘I feel we all have a responsibility to our communities, with a collective effort we can really make a change’.

Holler already has secured dates with Winchmore School in Winchmore Hill, and Aylwood Academy in Edmonton,  before the end of term and in September will be ready to support every school in Enfield. The project aims to grow into follow up workshops, work experience and community events.

You can be kept up to date on Instagram @Holleruk and also at the Holler website.

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