Luke wants to be a vet.
But you've heard him. He doesn't think he'll make it. He doesn't know how to make it from where he is. He's fatalistic - he thinks he'll probably end up like his sister.
There are things we can do. He needs stable role-models. He needs people to say, this is how to behave, settle down and work hard. He needs to see that success comes from opportunity AND your own hard work. He needs understand how to compete with the best. He has to be pushed to achieve his ambitions and taught how to identify and quantify them.
These are all things that, let's be frank, most people reading this will have had by osmosis. But if you're not lucky like us, then you're kind of left to chance. That's not acceptable in today's Britain. There are lots of organisations working on opening these opportunities up to children like Luke. But there aren't enough of them, and they can't get into the hardest to reach families.
Jon Snow, who hosted the panel discussion after the film was shown, said that he was finding fundraising for his charities easier than before. He wondered whether this was a sign of a significant social shift? I hope so. I hope we as a society have realised that we are both individuals and part of something greater.
Being part of something greater is important for individuals. That's why the organisation which made Luke's World are piloting ThinkForward, a programme which, uniquely, will hold a young person's hand from age 14 right up to 19. Each student will be assigned a personal 'coach' who will give them their own action plan, helping them to use other local initiatives, as well as to access workplace mentors providing introductions to business networks and work opportunities.
Too many young people fail to leap the gap between school and work but ThinkForward will close the chasm, enabling people like Luke to gather the skills, characteristics and contacts they need.
Neither this film nor any of the organisations involved have all the answers. But it does show those of us with comfortable lives what the problem is. We have the tools, the capacity and the wherewithal to find answers. And we have the moral responsibility to do so.
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