Sussex Speak Out Challenge

Giving young people in Sussex the confidence and opportunity to speak up on the issues that matter to them.

As part of our regional Speak Out Challenges, we were able to increase the confidence and communication skills of over 300 young people in Sussex this academic year alone.

The Sussex “Speak Out” Challenge! is designed and delivered by Speakers Trust and is funded and supported by the Sussex Community Foundation, Sussex Learning Network and a group of generous individual donors to encourage 14- and 15-year-olds to develop public speaking and communication skills as well as build self-esteem and agency.


During the academic year, each school has received a free one-day workshop in public speaking and communication skills. The student’s confidence in speaking to an audience, without notes, is measured at the beginning and at the end of the day. During 2021-22, 80% of students have increased their confidence to stand up and talk to a group of people.

One of our Sussex alumni said: “It feels great. It’s such a confidence boost and I feel really great about myself, and I feel so happy that I got the opportunity to meet so many important people. So many people that understand the importance of speaking and I just feel very lucky. I have definitely gained a lot more confidence, a lot more ambition to do more things to keep going from here.”

Now in its 3rd year, we held our first Sussex Speak Out Challenge Final at the Old Market Theatre in Brighton to celebrate the achievements of young people. Every school chose one to three finalists to move on to the Sussex Final where they were given the chance to deliver their speech in front of the local public and our esteemed panel of judges.

Deputy Lieutenant for East Sussex Violet Hancock DL who was on the judging panel said: “every young person needs to be given a voice and Speakers Trust teaches them how to use it to greatest advantage”.

Get inspired by our Sussex Speak Out Challenge Finalist Hivda and her speech called Roe vs Wade:

To get your school involved, please contact us via