A volunteer-led charity, SMBP is a collaboration of 130+ commercial organisations, professional services firms and professional sports teams, working across 13 towns/cities.

All are committed to supporting Year 12 students from low income backgrounds in their pursuit of a career in business. Since 2014, SMBP has grown from offering opportunities to 20 students in London, to over 500 student places across the UK in 2019.

Craig Capel, community development manager, Bristol Bears Community Foundation, said: “We’re working with local people from secondary schools who are embarking on their Sixth Form journeys who have been visiting a number of Bristol businesses, and we’re here celebrating a resilience day at Ashton Gate today.

“For us at Bristol Bears to sprinkle a little bit of our professional sporting ‘dust’ on this business partnership programme is great. We’ve had Amelia Buckland Hurry come down from Bristol Bears Women to talk with the group and answer some questions about her experience and what it is to be resilient on the sports field.”

Trevor Edwards, educational psychologist, Social Mobility Business Partnership, said: “We’re working with the young people to give them a set of strategies to help boost their resilience for whatever comes next.

“So, we think about what pressure is and what it feels like, what the body’s response to that is and how we manage that effectively and what positive strategies we can use to manage stressful situations and where we can gain support from people around us.

“These guys are about to apply for university places, so they’ve all got personal statements to write and interviews to prepare for, but they’re balancing that with all of the day-to-day things people face, like social media, money, friendships, relationships, expectations and all the things that are a normal part of a teenager’s life.”

Paul Glanville, corporate partnerships manager, Bristol Sport Foundation, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to support the Social Mobility Business Partnership for the third year running.

“Working collaboratively alongside the other Bristol Cluster partners – Burges Salmon, BT, CRSB Law, ITV, Osborne Clarke, TLT Solicitors and Yeo Valley – to provide an opportunity for Year 12 students from low income backgrounds to pursue their ambitions of a career in business.

“We are delighted to see SMBP grow from strength to strength each year and are proud to support a charity who’s ambitions align and resonate totally with those of our own and in particular our Nascence Programme – bring on SMBP2020!”