On the International Day of Charity we hear from ‘We Mind The Gap’ about their launch of ‘Future Factory’.

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WeMindTheGap is a dynamic, innovative and growing social mobility charity, and we love having Use.Space as our Manchester home. Established in 2106 and supported by our patron Sir John Timpson, we have delivered our holistic paid employment programmes across North Wales, Manchester and Liverpool, for unemployed young people who are referred to us by such agencies as Leaving Care, homeless hostels, Youth Justice – young people who are in need of new opportunities.

‘WeMindTheGap are the best of the best at looking after young people with attachment problems. As such, they are a role model organisation – everyone can learn from what they do.’

Sir John Timpson, WeMindTheGap Patron

The ‘Gappies’ have written their values, which they now live by.

Our programmes include life-skills, coaching, work experience, mentoring and filling gaps in experience, skills and maturation that most of us take for granted. We are very proud of the fact that our holistic approach results in 70% of participants moving into full-time work or education. While we are motivated by the real change that we deliver in real lives, it is good to know that the numbers work: our social return on investment has been calculated as £3.20 for every £1 spent and costs to the public purse of £1.40 for every £1 spent.

Rachel Clacher, Founder and Diane Aplin, CEO, collecting a cheque.

Due to this extraordinary pandemic we have changed focus this autumn. Too many young people are at risk of not re-engaging with education and training having left school prematurely, and we know that that risk is higher amongst certain groups. We feel compelled to take action, and so we have created ‘Future Factory’ – a virtual programme for 100 vulnerable 16+ year-olds who are at risk of not re-engaging with education or training after leaving school prematurely due to Covid-19.

‘Future Factory’ will contain edited highlights of our usual twelve-month employment programme, supplemented by inspiration and content that is relevant to this age group. Over eight to twelve weeks our virtual programme will offer these vulnerable young people fun, choice, support and role models – things that have been in short supply in their young lives, especially over recent months – and in so doing will provide learning opportunities that will benefit both life and work, and result in a plan and on-going support for their next steps in the world. Essentially this programme will enable them to move from being ‘prisoners of circumstance to pilots of our own lives’.

We are looking for talks, workshops, sessions, individuals from the world of work and training to contribute to ‘Future Factory’ and help us make a difference in these young lives. Whether it’s an introduction to a certain industry, an overview of a certain kind of work, a work taster session, or an inspirational talk from someone who has overcome barriers to achieve success: we are looking for a whole range of content from a whole range of industries and careers to inspire and educate these young people. Can you help?

For further details or to get involved please contact Rachel.orgill@wemindthegap.org.uk.


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