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BIG impact

Our programmes are truly life-changing, and with impressive and lasting results in terms of wellbeing, employment, social value and public cost savings. This is real social mobility in action.

BIG Conversation

Big Conversation

The Big Conversation is our innovative, appreciative inquiry into what our young people are thinking and feeling in the post covid world. Read and watch how challenging it was to find, listen and talk to 12% of the 18 to 21 year olds living in Wrexham in 2023. And find out what they told us about their aspirations, their fears for the future, and the real insights into a cohort of young people adversely affected by the pandemic.

The inquiry also heard from 105 employers across Wrexham and heard first hand the challenges of recruiting and retaining young people in their workplaces. And more importantly how we think we can help them support our young people with an innovative approach into employment.

Please download our WeMindTheGap – findings and response and Employers’ research report, and Big Conversation – young persons full research report and supporting Research findings presentation here.

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Big Conversation

Research finding videos

Listen to our CEO Ali Wheeler as she offers an overview of the Big Conversation research findings and introduces the guest speakers at our launch event.

Please be curious and watch the individual videos below and put yourself forward to be part of the collective to change the lives of 1000 young people in Wrexham in 1000 days.

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Rachel Clacher, Founder and Trustee

Welcomes over 50 stakeholders to the Big Conversation findings launch event. She explains how the world has changed over the last 4 years and the Big Conversation has helped us reach and speak to young people. 

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Kate Parsons, Hitch Behaviour Change Experts

Spoke to 12% of young people in Wrexham using various research methods and developed personas which were then applied to a Com-B behaviour change model.

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Tamia Watson, WeMindTheGap Graduate

Shares her reflections on the Big Conversation research and how we need to keep working together to make the world a nicer place.

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Julie Done, Wrexham Community Maker and Employer Partner Research

Spoke to over 100 employers in Wrexham and shares her findings on how we can bridge the gap between employers and young people.

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Ed Hughes, ClwydAlan Executive Director of Care and Support

Ed is one of our valued Employer Partners and shares the challenges faced by employers and young people, and the importance of working with WeMindTheGap.

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Diane Aplin, Chief Impact Officer

Diane heads up our impact and evaluation work and has spent time looking outside of Wrexham to see what the rest of the UK is experiencing. Diane shares what makes Wrexham so unique.

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Ali Wheeler, CEO WeMindTheGap

Explains how WeMindTheGap is going to respond, adapt, change and build new programmes of support for young people. Ali emphasised that we can't do it alone, and calls upon everyone watching these videos to support the Big Conversation.

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Sir John Timpson, Patron WeMindTheGap

Shares how the research report demonstrates that the conversation was needed, and the conclusions identify further challenges that now require new ways of working.

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Ali Wheeler, Chief Executive closing speech

Ali closes the Big Conversation findings launch and explains how this is the start of real opportunities for young people in Wrexham.

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Thank you for taking the time to watch, read and consider the Big Conversation findings and our response to it.

So what next?

Please register your interest in Behaviour Change Training

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Please register your interest in Adverse Childhood Experience Training

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Please register your interest in finding out more about the Big Conversation research findings

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Meet our gappies

“For eighteen months it had been a complete rollercoaster of emotions – to say the least!”

Read Chloe's Story

“WeMindTheGap has given me so many opportunities that I would never have dreamed possible, including winning a six-month place on Raleigh International. Next month I am off to work in Nepal – I can’t wait to tell you how I get on!”

Read Shahida's Story

“In March 2017, I passed my induction at PGL with flying colours. I am now working as an instructor on site, helping young people overcome their fears on a day-to-day basis.”

Read Sophie's Story

“We’ve done so many different things and I’ve learned lots of practical skills. I’m just a different person now.”

Read Vicki's Story

“I was 16 when I found myself living in the hostel in Wrexham. My supporter at the hostel said I should apply for the programme at WeMindTheGap.”

Read Sophie's Story

“I feel so much more positive and confident. Our Skippers and First Mates were so suited to each of us and were the `pick me up’ we all needed at times.”

Read Lauren's Story

Real and lasting impacts




graduate the programme


graduates are employed for six months


work placements completed with our employer partners



graduates report improved mental health


graduates report they now feel more in control of their life


graduates report improved confidence



graduates find employment


graduates go onto Further or Higher Education


graduates achieve new qualifications


graduates have improved mental health


graduates feel they have new choices

*on average

Source: Hatch Regeneris analysis of WMTG data. Note all annual data adjusted to 2019/20 prices.

This information is correct as of July 2020.



Social impact of


per cohort of ten young people

Public cost saving of


per cohort of ten young people

For every £1 invested, we return £3.60 in social value within 18 months.

This information is correct as of July 2020.

Read our Social Return On Investment Report

“I was 16 when I found myself living in the hostel in Wrexham. My supporter at the hostel said I should apply for the programme at WeMindTheGap.

I had only just turned 18 so I was the youngest gappie to be offered place.”

More Stories

When we say life-changing, we really mean it

Here's what some of our gappies have to say about how WeMindTheGap helped them to transform their lives.

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