Young Academic can bring news today that 80% of the UK public say there are not enough good role models for children. Olympic superstar has been Jess Ennis voted the top role model of the 2010’s as Amway UK launches Britain’s Top Real Role Model for the second year with £10,000 awarded to a social entrepreneur.

Research out today by global direct-selling company Amway UK, reveals a staggering 80% of people believe there are not enough good role models for children in today’s society. With community spirit at an all time high, the survey goes on to show over half of those polled (52%) realise the importance of ‘giving something back’ to their communities and are looking for more community-based role models to inspire the next generation.

As a result, this year’s search for Britain’s Top Real Role Model is open for nominations looking to uncover the real role models in society and awarding £10,000 to the winner to start their own social project.

Least trusted professions in the UK:

1. Politicians (58%)
2. Bankers (53%)
3. Celebrities (37%)

The most important characteristics in a role model:

1. Trustworthiness (45%)
2. Inspiration (26%)
3. Hard working (11%)

Most trusted professions in the UK:

1. Emergency Service (63%)
2. Doctors (56%)
3. Teachers (39%)
4. Charity Workers (31%)
5. Social Workers (23%)

Role models through the decades:

1980’s – Bob Geldof and Margaret Thatcher (Eurgh!) (23%)
1990’s – Richard Branson (47%)
2000’s – David Beckham (32%)
2010’s – Jessica Ennis (26%)

The ultimate role model of the nation:

Nelson Mandela (19%)
The Queen (18%)

The recession has played a huge part in bringing people together with Brits re-evaluating what is important as a staggering 88% of people said they would rather have a job that benefitted the community, allowed them to work locally and gave them job satisfaction rather than earning double the salary and working in an unfulfilling job.

Once a trusted profession in the UK, politicians along with celebrities and bankers are now seen as the least trustworthy role models in society (58%) with their lack of conscience (68%) and greed (60%) being the top reasons why they are no longer respected, despite Margaret Thatcher having been voted the top role model of the 80’s.

25% of people placed more value on setting up their own business and investing in something worthwhile that affects them or their local area. Working within a field or on projects that improve or benefit a local community are all considered social entrepreneurialism, which has seen a dramatic rise over the past twelve months, however 65% of people are doing it without even realising it.

The summer of sport in the UK has certainly inspired a generation, with gold medallist Jessica Ennis securing the top role model slot for the last two years and David Beckham voted top for the 2000’s. However his colleagues on the pitch have not fared so well with footballers slammed for earning too much money (82%) and bad behaviour (73%) on and off the pitch.

It is precisely this reason that Amway UK is calling for Britain’s unsung heroes to come forward, beginning the search for Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2012. The campaign, in its second year, will be judged by a high profile panel including Jo Fairley (entrepreneur and founder of Green & Black’s) and Melanie Bryan (OBE and last year’s winner) and will offer the winner a mentoring programme from the Amway Academy with invaluable support for business start-ups.

Jo Fairley, head judge for Britain’s Top Real Role Model says, “I am thrilled to be taking part in Britain’s Top Real Role Model, because I believe that we have a chance to build on the incredible, positive energy that’s been generated in the UK this year through the Jubilee and the Olympics, and help to build a better, more supportive community.”

Winner of last year’s search, Melanie Bryan OBE says, “I was delighted to win last year’s search and I’m excited to see who I will be passing on the baton to. The role aims to raise aspirations and inspire people of all ages and from all walks of life to make a positive difference through enterprise and our community.”

Sheryl Franklin-Worth, Corporate Affairs Manager at Amway UK says, “Amway is committed to supporting entrepreneurialism within the UK and beyond. We are keen to improve upon the success of last year’s campaign and to discover who is really flying the flag for social change and entrepreneurship. We want to support and celebrate the true unsung heroes so that they can inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps.”

The winner will be awarded with £10,000 to start their own social project. Britain’s Top Real Role Model aims to encourage budding social entrepreneurs to get involved in the competition via the dedicated website www.britainstoprealrolemodel.co.uk

To nominate someone to become Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2012 please visit www.britainstoprealrolemodel.co.uk. Nominations open on 8 October until 26 November. Successful shortlisted applicants will be asked to submit a brief business plan with the winner being announced at the end of January 2013.
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About Author

Charles Whitworth is the Editor of the Young Academic publications. Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2008, Charles learnt his trade in newsrooms such as IPC Media and Sky. He has now developed as a top sports, music and current affairs journalist and has been printed in a range of publications including The Guardian. His interests include Cricket, Football, Rugby, Music and Current Affairs. Fresh from the editorship of Student Times he now takes the reins at Young Academic - the premier student news portal. Connect with me on Google+

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