Thursday, 25 October 2012

Harnessing the Spirit of the Olympic Legacy 2012

Harnessing the Spirit of the Olympic Legacy 2012

What is Legacy? - Something handed down by predecessor The British Business Embassy, Global Business Summit on Education at Lancaster House was a brilliant, stimulating event and held during the wonderful London Olympic and Paralympics Games; made it just great! The legacy of 2012 must be secured and in order to do that realistically, cost-effectively and in as inclusive a way as possible it is essential that the ideas build on what most moved people across the UK and praise is given to the Olympic Team, the Olympic Board, the Mayor, LOCOG and the ODA. Momentum must not be lost.
We found this summer of summers to be one of the best ever, simply put, the nation was lifted, national events like this kept people smiling, people were talking and people had hope in their hearts that the world is a good place to be, the only place we have to live!! From the beginning when London won the games to the moment the Torch was lit, little expectation of what we were to witness in London, it did not dawn on us at first, but just got better and better and after Danny Boyle’s breathtaking opening ceremony, it was WOW!! That was a Great British statement that we saw.

I, Sue, was born and raised in Islington and having worked with so many teenagers during my long education career there and now have my own education enterprise and charity, and we must offer huge hope to the ‘young people’ not only in London but throughout the UK. Inspiring a generation rung true, children were swimming, jumping, running and rowing to their hearts content and showered us with a thousand smiles as they followed the paths of the great Champions of it all, we did not want it to end and surprisingly, felt a grieving process taking place when it did. It is imperative this is seen as a UK initiative and no better example than the immense emotional response to the Torch Relay in diverse communities across the UK.

• Taking the torch back – local ambassadors and champions especially Olympians and Paralympians. Keeping the spirit of Britain 2012 burning! Local events for all ages and backgrounds to mix and understand more about each other, our unique mix of cultures and our amazing depth of knowledge, skills and achievements working together.

• The re-invention of volunteering – I, Ann, am a Games Maker, a Business Coach and Mentor and Leader of Damsels in Success and a part of a fabulous family of ‘Games Makers’. With so many people literally lost now that their volunteering is completed and looking for chances to find the same buzz. In addition there are many people who are regretting not having taken part. Plan a schedule of upcoming events across the country and get a ‘task force’ of ambassadors who can support local communities in organising ‘supporter networks’ where individuals who would not ‘volunteer’ to do a weekly/monthly commitment can do either drop in volunteering or event volunteering. Talk up the benefits to them in tangible terms by getting existing volunteers to do YouTube videos about how they have grown and benefited from the experience. Encouraging Government to continue to fund the sporting legacy and to develop the work of volunteering in the UK.

 • People talking to each other – creating opportunities to talk – like a flash mob idea or creating programmes which are community based just to get people together to talk about what is good and share experiences – don’t focus just on disadvantaged – many sections of society feel isolated and encouraging us to rally around what is great in our country counters the media gloom. Let’s hunt out ‘the good stuff’ – a PR and media campaign promoting positive news around our shared values.

• The powers of female role models – young women are bombarded with the outputs of celebrity-centred media. Give them something else – use the success of the women in Team GB in 2012 and the powerful stories of the women who made it possible to get young women thinking about options not based on appearance alone. Celebrate the history of women in shaping our society – business, sport and politics.

• The Paralympics raised the attitude toward disabled people, this needs to centred on and moved even more forward in school work, communities, youth services, with messages of “How long will it take for you to see me and not my disability”!

• At Award-winning EGAR and Lets Get Talking we positively embrace ‘Talkshops’ intervention and prevention programmes with our learning method that support the health and well-being of young people and to reduce the likelihood of them being involved in crime and violence. A particular focus is planned on those young people who find themselves in the Not in Employment, Education or Training category (NEET) and also young offenders. Let’s create more opportunities to support young people to talk about their lives, their hopes and their dreams.

 • Young people loved the Olympics and the Paralympics; they openly embraced the ‘Champions’ such as Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farrah and Tom Daley to name a few, who were such an inspiration to the hopeless lives they are living. They enjoy our ‘Talkshops’ discussing the champions and what makes a champion and using the photos to talk through was a great media and proved extremely optimistic for young people to engage and focus via communication, never to be undervalued, helping them with decisions, talking and listening skills, negotiation, team work, flourishing and brain, thought and reasoning development. • A legacy is the Park itself, a wonderful feat of engineering to be adored and ‘used’ even by schools and youth services, along with the network infrastructure that must carry on and develop even more technological advances along with social media which drove much of the communication and conversation speedily around the globe.

• Driving change to support small businesses to receive investment and mentoring will be a legacy in itself as we know and would appreciate. This nurturing of support and growth helps to build a brilliant future for the UK; small companies are the strength of this country and need to be valued far more than they are. So, now the triumphs are over, let us not get to complacent, there is much work and many strands to tackle along with vibrant visions for our futures and if we can be a part of that ongoing movement, do get in touch with us.

Kindest Regards,

Sue Scott-Horne – Teenager’s Champion
Award-winning EGAR Educational Games And Resources
Founder Let’s Get Talking Charity

Ann Rennie Business Coach – Mentor Ambassador
Games Maker Leader Damsels in Success

Thursday, 21 June 2012


EGAR is proud to now offer Workshop sessions to schools, youth clubs or organisations needing help to get their young people to open up conversation on sensitive but key topics. Run by expert instructors, find out more here

Friday, 26 August 2011



August 2011, we saw devastating youth riots in England, with some children as young as 7 taking to the streets to take part in looting, vandalism, arson and violence. Burning buildings, homes and businesses destroyed with people injured and left homeless all arose as copycat riots, originally deriving from the shooting, by police, of a young man (Mark Duggan) in Tottenham, North London.

We know many teens during these riots just jumped on the thieves and rioting bandwagon and as some of them have said “It was a buzz, an emotional high, better than sex man!”  These kids are now being named and shamed and have ruined lives accompanied by a criminal record or prison that will take years to erase and all for making seriously wrong decisions and acting in a herdlike lawless fashion.  But are their lives ruined, it seems to me that many of them do not think too highly of their lives or the future, “What future”, I hear them say, these kids do not have respect for their lives or their liberty so really what can you take away from them, if they are not bothered about losing their own lives, they certainly won’t be worried about yours either.   

Public outrage and a smell of fear pervaded our streets. Why!? Personally, I think there is a generation of young people who have been left behind and forgotten, so when teenagers join gangs it really is as Prince Charles said ‘A cry for help’. I could not agree more, some of these lawless teenagers do not have role models in their disadvantaged lives, a gang becomes family and gives those young people relations and something more important, a sense of belonging. Lack of parental care, a lack of father figures, loss of power and discipline by parents and schools, where good behaviour is expected, unfortunately is not happening. 

Children and Teenagers threaten authority and parents with the state, leaving them with a fear of prosecution. Drugs, Drink, Poverty and Peer Pressure also play a role in this unruly behaviour, exaggerating situations and turning up the temperature of the violence and criminality which erupted. These are key areas that need to be worked on, even targeted by the government and authorities, to rule out such inhumane and violent activities. 

There are 120,000 disadvantaged families at this moment who urgently need support with their children and young people, the government are addressing this as a priority with Louise Casey at the helm!  But now we need a cure, healing, re-education and effective engagement programmes, unity with communities, schools and families working together and we as educators will keep trying and working with these young people, who have been let down by us the adults, responsible for them, they have lost their way somewhere in the world of the UK’s economic fragility and cuts. Unfortunately for these disadvantages children and young people it does not help for them to see fat cat bankers or celebrity cultured footballers earning zillions with fast cars and fashion styles, that is where they want to be but in a poverty stricken world that is never really going to happen so dreams of that are crushed pretty quickly! 

A collective failure of inequality must be addressed with teachers and parents taking charge to discipline, advise and guide the young people struggling with lives, schools must exert powers to do this otherwise these kids are literally dragging themselves up without role models, love, nurturing advice or guidance, it's children raising children; not a good idea in their already powerless lives.  Lack of parental care, drugs, drink, peer pressure and no sense of belonging or respect create a total lack of self esteem, values and morals in these lives that are already full of trauma, poverty and without fear! 

The tension from this pressure point, extends to the lid blowing off and then we begin to notice, why, because we are made to notice that all is not good, who could fail to notice what has just exploded in our faces, possibly because we really turned a blind eye, especially local government and the cabinet, to the services and support that were cut over 20 years ago and still not reinstated at all, leaving vulnerable kids to raise themselves in gangs, better to be in a gang and belong somewhere, than nowhere at all! Investment in children's lives is clearly the best intention for all concerned in this country.

A study of 500 grandparents has been carried out by market researcher which quizzed them on their quality of parenting compared to their offspring's.  It found four in ten grandparents believe their grandchildren are far less disciplined than their own children were at the same age and three in ten said their children are worse parents than they were. A hands off approach without boundaries and limits are not set for them or not carried through with 50% of grandchildren not feeling fear about being told off by parents, teachers or another adult.  Some grandparents even blamed themselves and wished they had disciplained their own children more, which in turn, would help them instil very necessary values in their grandchildren.

There are 65,000 children in care at this moment in time!!!  I have worked in children’s homes and saw firsthand children who never knew parents or family, without networks other than staff teams and picture story books of lives cared for by the state, fed and clothed well but with much lacking, don’t we need more than that to survive as human beings, we need love and even more love, that love makes most of us feel good, to be loved is a warm blanket of security, some of us are very lucky and have this love continually in our lives but imagine life without it, that love blanket keeps us evolving, prepares us for the day ahead and gives us hope and well-being everyday of our lives.

Now more than ever, education, effective engagement and 'talking therapies' is key to the cure and the change needed to help these kids take a new approach, start to learn about the better side of life and appreciate and respect it for what it is and what is on offer, they have the potential to be nice, kind and give back to society as well as be a valued member of it, niceness, kindness and goodness is not taught, it is something we learn from our elders, those of us who are lucky enough to have been showered with it.

So I appeal to you all to start supporting the young, yes I understand your anger totally, but now we must start a cure and go forward as soon as possible and by you just giving some time to reach out to the 1 million 10-19 year olds in London alone and the almost 1 million 16-24 year old young people unemployed in the UK; if you can offer a volunteer placement in your work place or business then do so, I have been bombarded with volunteer applications at Egar and there are Volunteer Centres throughout the UK with thousands of young people clamouring to be a volunteer, which is surprising but relished or maybe you can start an apprenticeship, whatever happened to them, even if it is for just one day a week, this will be the start of making these kids feel worthwhile, something they probably have never felt, because no one has ever told them they are great or given them any praise so they grow up totally de-moralised with life.

The conversation, karma road to recovery starts here at Egar.  We have so much expertise in dealing with teenagers by way of supportive resources to help you, help children and teens talk about the social and challenging issues in their lives, Egar conversation card sets help to focus on kid’s mindsets and attitudes and are a great way of assessing where they are with a given issue.  So guys, have a look at our card sets and posters, whether you are working with or raising kids, we can support you every step of the way with our simple to use, loaded and powerful resources that will save you much time, energy and wrangling and bring you a wealth of fulfilment in moving forward with the young people of today and tomorrow.  Do remember the strength of our country lies in its youth, let’s rebuild England and young lives, starting right now!

Sue is available for motivational speaking appointments for more information email

She will be speaking at The Queen's Head Pub 40 Essex Road Islington N1
For tickets see 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 at 7.30 p.m.

Sue will also be speaking at the Charities Buying Group CBG Conference
at The Tower of London
on 4th October 2011.

Thank you for your time.
Sue Scott-Horne
Teenage Champion

August 2011

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Inside the Teen Brain

Sue Scott-Horne knows how teenagers tick. A mother of four, she had worked for 25 years for a local education authority in London, starting as a youth worker and working her way up. She specialised in working with teenagers, working 12 years on the frontline, before being moved into management where she was commended for her commitment and innovative work.
In 2002, however, she broke her ankle and, due to complications, had to take early retirement.

The result is a series of educational resources, called Educational Games and Resources or EGAR for short.
She had done a lot of work in the past working with the school curriculum so she knew how to adapt what she was doing to fit with it. “I had something I thought I could develop into a socially driven business,” she said.
She didn’t know how to convert it into a business, though. However, one day she read an article in the local paper about women in Islington who had been made redundant and had signed up for a new course at London Metropolitan University’s Centre for Micro Enterprise. “My confidence was zilch,” she said. “I was not even sure I could do it.” Even so, she signed up for a short course and started, with her tummy flipping when she walked into the lecture room full of 50 women for the first time. 
“That first day changed my life,” she said. “It propelled me into something different.” She took the course day by day. She mentioned the game, which is based on discussion cards, to the director of her course as she said she knew nothing about financing it or protecting her designs. She was introduced to the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs and invited to be a member. She also contacted the British Library’s business and intellectual property centre.
She is passionate about women entrepreneurs, citing statistics showing 97% of patent applications are from men.
Her educational resources are based on her understanding of teenagers and her belief in the power of talking. “Communication is the main thing we do as humans,” she says. The cards are designed to get teenagers talking. They detail different dilemmas, for instance, they ask what you look for in a friend. “The teenage years can be very challenging,” says Sue. “Almost overnight a child can change. Just as no-one can prepare you for having a baby, no-one can prepare you for the teen years. You blame yourself. The challenge is to get the young person to open up.”

Emotional development
The cards can be used by parents or professionals working with teenagers. “Parents are often at an extraordinary loss for how to deal with teenagers. They may seem to be grown up, but their emotional maturity is often five years behind their bodily development,” she says. “They have a lot of bravado and there is a lot of peer pressure. You need to break the group up. They can be completely different on their own.”
Many teenagers who go on to get involved in gangs or crime have had to drag themselves up in difficult circumstances, she says. “If they do not have any time spent on them it is during their adolescence when it will all start to go wrong.”
She says today’s problems have been many years in the making and are a result of social and political policies, such as cutting back on youth centres and family break-up. Modern technology has not helped. Teens are now completely plugged into play stations, tvs, mobiles and other equipment and don’t talk as much as they used to, says Sue.
The cards help them and their parents. There are guides for parents and the emphasis is on not pointing the finger and creating a non-judgmental environment. The cards can be used on a one to one basis or for group work in classes or workshops. Themes include bereavement and addiction. They might be asked, for instance, what they first associate with anger and this can form the basis for a wider discussion.
The cards have been well received by colleagues working with teenagers and EGAR has just found out that they are national finalists in the Archant awards for Best Use of Technology. Sue has also been working with Mothers Against Violence and has been invited to the House of Lords and the Ministry of Defence. She has also met the chair of the London Assembly.
The game has just been officially launched. Sue says she felt really under pressure before the launch and worried about launching in a credit crunch, but she had to ride with it.
She had spent two to three years writing the cards and games and getting ready so she knew she had to go for it. Moreover, as she says, “because of the nature of what I have been doing with teenagers and young people I did not want to waste any time.”
It’s been a huge learning curve, but if the resources do what they are intended to, she knows it will be well worth it.
Author: Sue Scott-Horne 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Parents/Carers are you struggling to communicate with your child or teenager?

Are you struggling to form an effective line of communication with your child or teenager? Worried about serious issues in his/her life but unable to find the way towards effective discussions? You are not alone! Communication is one of the most pressing concerns in the education of young people today. That is why EGAR is supporting The Communications Trust who serve speech language and communication needs and are running the 'Hello, Talk-Listen-Take part' campaign to make 2011 a national year of communication. Driving awareness of how important it is for children and young people to develop effective communications skills both with peers, parents/carers and society as a whole.

Here at EGAR we develop effective educational Let's Get Talking Choice Discussion card sets to develop communication with children and young people today. Our Director has four children, five grandchildren and a long commended career working at the Islington Education department for 25 years, specialising in PSHE Personal, Social and Health Education in schools, youth services and childrens care homes, working with children and young people.

The following is some insight into the ways in which the EGAR product may be able to help the development of effective communication on subjects of greatest concern to children and young people struggling to express their thoughts and emotions around social and challenging issues, from our Director Sue Scott-Horne.

I would say to anybody trying to communicate with a young person or group to set the scene, choose a place and environment that is good to talk and decide where and when for both or all of you.  Somewhere without interruptions, that means no phones or TV's on that will disturb you.  Another good starter is to have a snack, biscuits, drink ready as this will ease the tension that can often be present at the start of some conversations, especially if you are tackling bullying, drugs, bereavement, gang culture, relationships, school work or any other issue that could be ongoing or a new problem.

Do prepare yourself as a parent/carer with knowledge about the issue you are discussing or trying to communicate about.  EGAR's New Let's Get Talking Choice Discussion card sets and display posters will really help you to get the conversation going.  We are covering many subjects including Health, Crime and Personal development, issues that are tricky and challenging for parents/carers to open conversations about. The cards are good intervention and prevention tools that lead the way unpicking and driling down whilst tackling issues. The flow and movement of the choices your child will make as to the selection of the discussion cards, is paramount to the depth of the conversation that will open up for you to talk about and understand why and what the underlying  problems may be concerning the issues facing your child or teenager.  It is rather like planting a pea and as you talk that pea grows and grows and you begin to realise things you probably had not realised and the difficulties you and your child are going through.

Prepare yourself for any 'truths' to emerge, you may be surprised at just what is going to come out of their mouths, but with preparation and knowledge of the issue nothing will hit you as hard as it will if you are totally unprepared for the truth.

In each set there are many cards for your child to choose from.  As each card is picked you discuss as to why that card is chosen and do remember the cards are not your choice! You need to be non-judgemental and open minded otherwise your child will walk away and you will be back to square one.

So, patience really is a virtue whilst using the cards and you will soon realise the empowerment EGAR will give to your child, which in turn, will empower you to discuss all that is necessary to reach a satisfied solution together!

Do not feel guilty about your parenting skills, you I am sure are a good parent to even consider using these communication cards and all issues can be worked through.

The outcome for all concerned is better decision making and more healthy informed choices, which in turn provide opportunties for children and young people to imrpove their lives and well-being.

Social and challenging issues are something all parents and carers face with children reaching adolescent age and when you wake up that morning and you realise the sweet baby you gave birth to has now turned into a greasy, green spotted monster that just grunts at you, then you will reach out for support because as many of us know it is a hard and tough time for all.  EGAR can give you support quickly and easily and offers solutions.

Award-Winning EGAR have an expanding range of Let's Get Talking discussion cards covering: Depression, Alcohol, Drugs, Hygiene, Anger, Friends, Knives, Guns and Gangs, Life, Love, Money and Being Bullied.  All the sets are designed to help and support you with your child or young person and the learning thread will open up ideas as to how to work through issues together and support your child/teenager through these times. EGAR offers a reflective action plan that you may want to follow once you have had the best conversation you will ever have, as EGAR give you a solution!

Have a look at our website

email for further information.

To find out more about The Communications Trust 'Hello Talk-Listen-Take part' campaign please visit

We are here to help you turn your child around and give him/her the best start to develop and become a valued person that he/she is proud of as well as you.

Sue Scott-Horne

Director EGAR

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

An insight into the causes and solutions to bullying - Anti Bullying Week 15th-19th November

Everyday children, teenagers and young people are being bullied!  Why?

Probably because it was accepted childhood behaviour years ago; although today it is one of the most talked about topics of concern among adults, parents/carer’s, teachers, youth workers, mentors and counsellors. The serious social and emotional affect it has on children and young people is now thought about in-depth, especially as extremely serious consequences of being bullied has reached devastating affects with young people committing suicide because of the trauma of it.

As adults we know what it can feel like to be bossed around and bullied by our work colleagues, friends or family and we have had to adopt and learn life coping skills to help us deal with this; so to be a child or young person having to cope with bullying is a very challenging and confusing place to be.  Being bullied can make people feel very lonely, isolated with their self esteem at an all time low as they begin to feel the power of the bully. Up to half of all children are bullied at some point during school time.

The Children Act 2004 – This Act set out the framework for delivering children’s services that professionals must work towards.  The ‘Every Child Matters’ five outcomes are:
The support system needed, must be put in place for these positive outcomes to be supported throughout school life and Bullying or a Bully is not accepted within these outcomes. Schools now have to ‘co-operate to improve well-being’ and to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.  The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) for Children’s Services and Skills, inspect and evaluate how schools are contributing to meeting the ECM outcomes.

Recognising bullying behaviour and doing something about it can also be very confusing for a child. Especially if children know they are being bullied, they may actually think this is how life is and some people can and do behave in this way and that it is acceptable.  It is our responsibility as adults and staff to stop that confusion and be able to focus in to the changing behaviour of the child who is being bullied as well as the bully; especially if they are not prepared to tell or are frightened to tell someone it is happening.
Below is some of the tell-tale, spotting signs that a child is being bullied:-

Not wanting to go to school, starting to truant or not socialising.

They may become very quiet in their behaviour and shut themselves away in another room, feeling very unhappy.

They may complain of not feeling well, have stomach aches or headaches.

They may seem agitated and not sure of themselves.

They may start to feel sick and tremble.

They may not want to use the phone or computer as texts or email notes are sent to them telling them nasty things.

These are some of the signs and these are what we must look for and focus in on to support the child who is being bullied.  A gentle talk may help but sometimes if the child is extremely bullied the bully may have threatened them not to tell or something could happen to them.  A state of flux and anxiety ensues and the child will look quite unwell, so intervention has to be done appropriately for bullying to be prevented!  The first port of call as an educator would be to contact the parent, or vice versa, if the parent contacts the educator then they can talk through a support system as to how they will help the child being bullied, putting into place a coping skills system for them, hopefully during this support the bully’s name will emerge and a system to stop the bullying as in an Anti-Bullying Policy, that schools must legally have in place for immediate action to be taken.

The Anti-Bullying policy recommendations could involve:
  • Giving a member of staff, specific responsibility for Anti-Bullying work.
  • Auditing current practices and prioritising change to the policy.
  • Developing Anti-Bullying Policies as part of the School Behaviour Policy.
  • Making sure the policy covers all forms of bullying especially relating it to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities along with Cyber Bullying.
  • The policy should also refer to the bullying of staff as well as pupils.
  • The policy should explore all available support e.g. Behaviour and Attendance Consultant.
As bullying can be taking place for a few days, weeks or months it is important to try to establish what has caused it, it may be jealousy, wanting to take the attention away from a popular child, or a gifted child who is doing well academically as well as a child who is good at physical sports, dance or football. It may be a quiet child who does not mix or socialise well that could be a bully target. On reflection, staff must always be on the look out and focus into the group/groups social mix and not let a lonely child or special needs/disabled child be a target. It could also be race, religious or homophobic bullying taking place, whatever the reason it must be immediately sorted out and a vigil eye kept on the parties whilst working through the problems, along with professional guidance and support explored when necessary.

Bullying takes place in many places outside of school or youth club settings and in each place it is happening it must be acted on in the same way, immediately, with no time to waste in supporting, intervening and preventing bullying.  There are many leaflets, DVD’s and guidance documents that can be sought from the DirectGov or DCSF websites or from the Anti-Bullying Alliance website.

EGAR Educational Games And Resources launched their new ‘BEING BULLIED’ Let’s Get Talking ‘Choice’ Discussion Card game at the NEC Birmingham Education Show in March 2010. It is a structured, supervised card set, an alternative talking tool for educators, mentors, youth counsellors and parents/carer’s to use to communicate and educate children and young people about ‘Being Bullied’.  The game has been thought about in-depth and covers the outcomes of the ECM framework.  It explores many issues about bullying and gives children and young people a chance to talk openly and safely about it.

EGAR Educational Games And Resources are attempting to change the way young people communicate with parents/carers and teachers among others. Allowing for clear communication on difficult issues eg being bullied, crime, health and the environment to find out more about what EGAR can do for you head to

In conclusion please support anti bullying week Nov 15th-19th, however you can, as bullying is a serious issue for children in London, around the country and across the world.

Let us do what we can to prevent it.