PROSPER MAGAZINE: ISSUE 02 | DION FANTHOM
INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION
One Black Country businesswoman is striving to provide inspiration
The idea of inspiring the next generation is a theme that runs deep through everything Dion Fanthom does.
As a big sister, the hotel digital marketing executive, Black Country Chamber Future Link member and now West Midlands Young Combined Authority board member, Dion feels it’s her job to not only encourage and inspire her siblings but to inspire others whilst challenging people’s perceptions of the ‘younger generation'.
“Letting my siblings know that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to is important to me,” Dion told Prosper.
“The qualities I have because I am a big sister, have motivated me to mentor students at school, stand as Head Girl, and since leaving school, throw myself into whatever opportunities allow me to add value to an important cause.”
Recently, her passion for inspiring the next generation and pushing for change has been awarded by a seat on the board of the West Midlands Young Combined Authority.
One of 32 members, each with their own specific passion but with a united desire to represent the younger generation of the West Midlands, Dion and her fellow board members are working to make long-lasting change and inspire the next generation.
“A priority for me when I applied for the board role was to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. I am proud to be directly involved, putting across my ideas and influencing decisions on this subject.
“A recent study conducted by Beatfreeks showed that one of the top issues young people are concerned with is Mental Health (Brum Youth Trends Report).
“This is what drives me to continue to open conversations, not only on the Young Combined Authority board, but also with my siblings, amongst my friends and colleagues and wherever else I may find a platform to share this important message."
Dion continued, “One of the questions on the YCA application form was, how do we plan on paying it forward - how will we inspire the next generation?
“A tough question, but a question that I think we should all be considering at some point. Since I was appointed, it is something I have thought about more and more, and as a board member, it is inspiring me to work and plan many projects.
“I hope to launch a monthly meeting to promote better workplace wellbeing, a novel (my first), will be a free resource for schools in the region that will educate students and teachers on mental health.
“I want to create a mental health lunchtime radio show for schools, and of course to continue being the best possible big sister I can be."
Dion concluded, “I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity, to represent the young people of our region and to provide thoughts and ideas that will continue to impact people, for years to come.
“It’s up to us to lead by example, inspire the next generation, not only with words but with actions because ultimately, they are our future and we owe it to them."