Real careers and real choices are an achievable reality if our young adults have access to the right opportunities.
Our objective is to run traineeships and provide the support that maximise those opportunities. We started by scouring the country for examples of best practice and asking the powerful question: “What kind of traineeship and support would we want if we were standing in our trainees’ shoes?”.
What we now offer, to ten young women at a time, is:
A six month paid traineeship that includes everything from work experience with five different employers to coaching and mentoring to skills development.
A holistic approach that provides everything from practical support to 24/7 love and care provided by an Aunty and Big Sister.
A further six month programme of coaching and support as graduates move into the world of work or education.
Life-long inclusion and involvement with BeyondTheGap, the association for graduate trainees, which involves peer-to-peer coaching and mentoring, on-going support from the WeMindTheGap team, as well as access to opportunities and events provided by the charity, its partners and its employer partners
Traineeship dates: October 2018 – April 2019
Based at Enterprise Hub, Wrexham
Supported by amazing employer partners: Solvay, Ramada Hotel, Glyndwr University, Homestead Nursery, Carden Park, Moneypenny
Funded by WCVA, Solvay, Wrexham County Council, St. James’ Place, Moving On Wrexham
Optimist, activist, speaker, and entrepreneur: Rachel is all of these, and more. After co-founding Moneypenny in 2000 with her brother Ed Reeves and growing the company to be the world leader in telephone answering services and one of the Best Companies to Work for in the UK, Rachel established WeMindTheGap as her bit of ‘direct action’. As a regular speaker to national and international business audiences she raises valuable funds for the charity.
Karen Jones Trustee
Karen brings with her a valuable blend of commercial and charitable endeavours. Having trained as a Chartered Accountant with PwC, she moved into Corporate Finance with Ernst & Young, and since has played a key part in the leadership teams of several ambitious and growing businesses in FD and MD roles. In addition Karen is a mentor for UnLtd supporting social entrepreneurs, sits on the Board of a not-for-profit contemporary craft company GNE, and has been a school Governor for a number of years.
Diane Aplin Director of Making it Happen
Diane joined Rachel in 2014 to set up and run our first traineeships. Today she leads the charity, and is responsible for everything from compliance, to fundraising, to the all-important delivery of the traineeships. A solicitor by profession, she worked in private practice in Manchester before dedicating her passion for making positive change to Hope House Hospice and now WeMIndThe Gap.
David Clacher Trustee
As well as being an optometrist and independent optical practice owner, David regularly guides optometrical students through qualification and works in Africa teaching students with Vision Aid Overseas. Creating real change for disadvantaged young people is something he achieves not only through WeMindTheGap, but also through helping young people start their own businesses as a Prince’s Trust mentor.
Laura Columbine BeyondTheGap Coordinator & Wrexham Aunty
Laura joined the charity in 2015 as a Welfare Officer or 'Big Sister'. A Social Sciences graduate, Laura is passionate about filling gaps in independence and physical care, motivating trainees to create and fulfil their individual aspirations. Laura's role has expanded to work BeyondTheGap, supporting our graduate trainees in their new, independent lives.
Louise Gatenby Trustee
A values-led entrepreneur with experience of working in leading global organisations, today Louise leads boutique executive search firm The Orcid Partnership, advising a broad range of clients on their Board, leadership and talent agenda. Passionate about creating sustainable change, Louise has mentored for the Princes Trust, and played a key role in supporting Frederick’s Foundation in Liverpool through The Mothership Group Foundation.
We partner with a wide range of organisations, agencies, and employers to design, develop and deliver our meaningful and impactful traineeships and on-going support. Together we give our trainees the best possible opportunities to move from being ‘prisoners of circumstance to pilots of our own lives’.
Our story so far
Traineeship designed. 6 month pilot for 8 young women. Foundation Director recruited. Best practice gathered from Jamie Oliver’s 15, Timpson Group, Berkeley Foundation, Shine TV’s The Hatch and many more.
Moneypenny Foundation charity established. ‘Big Sister’ recruited. 6 month traineeship for 10 young women run in Wrexham.
6 month traineeship for 10 young women in Wrexham. One-off funding secured from Welsh Government who are looking to inform their own employability schemes.
Charity name changed to We Mind The Gap. Traineeships for 10 young women (30 in total) to run in Wrexham, Flintshire and Liverpool, each with the support of an ‘Aunty’, ‘Big Sister’, 5 paid coaches, 10 volunteer mentors and 5 or more employer partners.
"These six months have opened doors, given me amazing opportunities and great life skills"
"I could not have got this far without my life coach. She is amazing"
"I’ve learnt that if I give things a go and think positively I can do them"
"I just didn’t realise that I could jump off jetties, climb up walls – it feels amazing to have done this"
"I can achieve anything I want to when I put my mind to it"
Help us mind the gap.
Want to find out more? Want to volunteer your time, expertise or money? Want WeMindTheGap to come to a community near you? Whatever the reason, we’d love to hear from you.