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A Beacon of Hope at Brickhill Primary School, Bedford, UK



In an effort to empower and inspire young black children, Guiding Light Leads recently made a profound impact at Brickhill Primary School. By bringing in three exceptional black professionals to engage with the students, the charity aimed to foster self-confidence, provide role models, and broaden the horizons of the children.


Yvonne and Toyin Opebiyi: Generous and Wise Mentors

Two standout figures in this inspiring endeavor were Yvonne and Toyin Opebiyi, whose generosity in sharing their time and wisdom left a lasting impression at Brickhill Primary School. The school expressed its deep gratitude, saying, "Yvonne and Toyin Opebiyi have been incredibly generous in sharing their time and wisdom with us. We are keen to enrich our curriculum and ensure that children can see themselves reflected in the environment they learn in whilst also offering a window for others to explore the world around us."


Yvonne and Toyin's involvement was pivotal in creating experiences for the students that they will remember for years to come. Their dedication to supporting young African Caribbean students, coupled with their invaluable advice, made a significant difference in the lives of the children.


Jum3e: A Musician and Dancer Inspiring Mental Well-being

Another outstanding contributor to this initiative was Jum3e, a talented musician and dancer who delivered an assembly focused on how dance can be a positive vehicle for improving mental health and well-being. The school's testimonial attests to Jum3e's impact, stating;


"Jum3e came to deliver an assembly to talk about how dance can be a positive vehicle for improving your mental health and wellbeing whilst also giving our pupils an insight into the world of street dance. This was followed up by a workshop with our older students who were incredibly engaged and enthused."


Patrick Egbuchiem: An Inspirational Speaker on Perseverance

The school's partnership with Yvonne and Toyin also brought Patrick Egbuchiem to speak to the entire student body. Patrick's message centred on the power of perseverance and not giving up on one's aspirations. The school's testimonial underlines the impact of his message, noting;


"Patrick came to speak to the whole school about perception, how others will look at us and make assumptions and how it is up to the individual to persevere and never give up on their aspirations. This was a powerful message and is in line with our school values, but most importantly, it came from another voice who could share lived experiences."


Hannah Uzor: A Visionary Artist Inspiring Creativity

Adding a creative touch to the experience, the school welcomed the wonderful artist, Hannah Uzor. Hannah shared her background and artistic journey with the children, inspiring them greatly. The school's testimonial emphasizes her inspirational role, stating;


"Hannah came to talk with the children about her background and journey as an artist, inspiring the children greatly. She then worked with each class on individual projects linked to portraits."


Aim Achieved: Strong Role Models for the Community

The primary aim of this initiative was to provide students in the Brickhill community with strong, positive role models. Thanks to the collaboration with Yvonne and Toyin Opebiyi and the incredible professionals they brought to the school, this goal was resoundingly achieved. The students had the unique opportunity to interact with individuals who shared their lived experiences and could serve as sources of inspiration for their own futures.


Guiding Light Leads' involvement at Brickhill Primary School stands as a shining example of how a charity with a noble mission can have a profound impact on the lives of young individuals. Through the generous contributions of Yvonne and Toyin Opebiyi and their team of remarkable professionals, the students were exposed to a world of possibilities, inspiring self-confidence, creativity, perseverance, and emotional well-being. This initiative not only enriched the educational experience at Brickhill Primary School but also sowed the seeds of aspiration and self-belief in the hearts of the students. It serves as a testament to the transformative power of mentorship and community involvement.


Testimonial from Dan Wiltshire, Deputy Headteacher of Brickhill Primary School

"Yvonne and Toyin Opebiyi have been incredibly generous in sharing their time and wisdom with us. We are keen to enrich our curriculum and ensure that children can see themselves reflected in the environment they learn in whilst also offering a window for others to explore the world around us. Through working with Yvonne and Toyin, our students have received experiences in school they are likely to remember for a long time. Jum3e, a musician and dancer, came to deliver an assembly to talk about how dance can be a positive vehicle for improving your mental health and wellbeing whilst also giving our pupils an insight to the world of street dance. This was followed up by a workshop with our older students who were incredibly engaged and enthused. It also gave some of our pupils who need support with managing their behaviour an opportunity to see first-hand how powerful dance can be in terms of expressing yourselves and helping to regulate emotions. We also welcomed Patrick Egbuchiem as part of our relationship with Yvonne who came to speak to the whole school about perception, how others will look at us and make assumptions and how it is up to the individual to persevere and never give up on their aspirations. This was a powerful message and is in line with our school values, but most importantly, it came from another voice who could share lived experiences. The generosity of people continued when we welcomed a wonderful artist, Hannah Uzor, who came to talk with the children about her background and journey as an artist, inspiring the children greatly. She then worked with each class on individual projects linked to portraits. Yvonne also visited us to talk with us about her experiences of supporting young African Caribbean students and gave advice for how to support pupils in our setting. Throughout the process, Yvonne has been nothing short of generous and kind with the time and effort she has given us. Our aim was to provide an opportunity for students in our community to meet strong, positive role models and thanks to the relationship with Yvonne, this has been achieved"

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