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Olympian helps launch ‘life-changing” Airbus Foundation programme for Holywell High School Students

Twenty specially selected youngsters from a Flintshire school are set to embark on the Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge, a unique one year programme running for the first time in Wales at Airbus Broughton

The students, all aged between 13 and 14 are from Ysgol Treffynnon the new High School in Holywell, met three-time Olympic medallist Kriss Akabusi at a launch event on Tuesday.

The one-year programme gives the students a unique and potentially life-changing opportunity to work with Airbus mentors, as well as to develop workplace skills and a love of learning.

If they prove their worth over the year, they will get to fly in a small aircraft at the end of the project as a reward.

The Flying Challenge programme, which is the Airbus Foundation’s largest youth mentoring programme, will include 20 weekly sessions at Airbus where they will get “behind the scenes” access to aviation design programmes and facilities on the Broughton site.

Through this, the participants will learn about careers in aviation, develop new skills, and gain practical experience.

The programme will also involve a four-day ‘Aim High’ scholarship run by leading aviation charity fly2help.

By the time they graduate from the Flying Challenge, participants will have undertaken a wide range of aerospace experiences, worked with committed employee mentors, completed a skills portfolio and worked towards a nationally recognised qualification.

This Airbus Foundation programme is being supported by four organisations: the Engineering Development Trust, who aim to build links between educators and young engineers; Reaching Wider, who work to raise aspirations among previously under-represented communities; Communities First, who aim to tackle poverty and inequalities in the region; and fly2help, who use the power of flight to help people change their lives.

Phil McGraa, Community Relations Manager at Airbus Broughton said:

“This cohort of students will be the first in Wales to embark on the journey. We at Airbus are proud to be a part of these students’ lives, and look forward to seeing their talents develop over the coming year.”

Mr. Weir, Headteacher at Ysgol Treffynnon said:

“Today has been a truly inspiring day for staff and students alike. We are delighted to have welcomed Kriss Akabusi and the team from Airbus at the start of this amazing project. Our students are really excited and looking forward to beginning their Flying Challenge journey!”

Since the start of the Airbus Flying Challenge in 2012, over 2,000 young students across France, Spain, Germany and the USA have completed the programme.

The Airbus Foundation, chaired by Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group, includes Airbus, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space as founding and contributing members.

‘The Foundation supports the global humanitarian community and inspires and prepares young people for the challenges of tomorrow.’

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