Moneypenny and its charitable arm “WeMindTheGap” are delighted to announce an exciting initiative with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) in Wales which will benefit the charity’s graduates and the business employees to work collaboratively in improving their leadership skills.
WeMindTheGap was created and piloted by Moneypenny, a world leader in telephone answering and outsourced switchboard services and Top 5 Best Company to Work for in the UK. The aim of WeMindTheGap is to bring Moneypenny’s unique approach to people development to a whole new group of young women within the local community, which is currently being under-served. Three projects have been undertaken with unemployed young women who are not in education and are referred by local agencies such as Leaving Care, Youth Justice, homeless centre, Women’s Aid, housing associations, local charities as well as the Job Centre; a six month paid internship creates lasting positive change for the young women taking part.
Rachel Clacher co-founder of Moneypenny and CEO of WeMindTheGap said,
“Such has been the success of the first three programs; a charity has been established to deliver similar traineeships in new communities – named WeMindTheGap. 70% of participants move from being reliant on the state with few choices to leading totally independent lives with many choices. It is estimated that they move from costing the state an estimated £25,000 per annum to contributing an estimated £19,000. A net economic gain of £44,000 in six months.”
The DofE Wales Leadership programme is available to young people under the age of 25 whohave completed or are participating in one of the Award’s three levels, Bronze, Silver or Gold. . It’s an opportunity to develop confidence, problem solving and teamworking skills, helping to refine personal leadership skills.. But in recognising that the WeMindTheGap trainees have already been on an incredible journey over the 26 week traineeship the team at DofE Wales have proposed to offer those graduates the opportunity of completing the life skills award. This is an amazing opportunity for the graduates: a chance within their first year of leaving WeMindTheGap to re-taste the outdoor life as they did in week two of the traineeship and hone their newly found independence and leadership skills. It’s recognising that they have already come a long way and to keep them on track for the future.
And as WeMindTheGap is powered by Moneypenny the team at DofE Wales were keen to offer the same opportunity to its employees who may not have had the opportunity to take part in the DofE through school or college, or who just wish to use the opportunity as part of the amazing personal development programme Moneypenny offers. The Leaderships awards will allow Moneypenny employees and WeMindTheGap graduates to work together on their leaderships skills and help encourage, motivate and support each other.
This is the first time DofE Awards have worked in partnership with a Company in this way and its own Charity to deliver their range of awards.
Rachel Clacher says of the partnership “to be working with such a credible Charity with its 60 years of experience in helping young people realise their potential is an amazing opportunity for us in the charity but also within the business. Moneypenny prides itself in developing people’s extraordinary capabilities and the chance to work with the DofE team is a really special addition to the range of opportunities we provide. For our amazing young women who have graduated from the charity’s traineeship this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with an organisation who recognise how hard they have already worked to make the most of the opportunities on offer. I would like to thank the team at DoE Wales for working so hard to create this opportunity and look forward to working with them over the coming years”.
Stephanie Price DofE Director for Wales describes the new partnership as ‘a fantastic opportunity to work with a charity which shares our ethos to support and develop young people. We know that for many young people the DofE is still seen as something which is out of their reach but we are hoping through this project that we can bring the programme to young women who might never have had the chance to take part before and to demonstrate through positive engagement that its is truly achievable by all. Working in this way is new for the DofE in Wales and we know that we stand to learn as much from the young women as they will learn from us, its very exciting!
WeMindTheGap Editors Notes
Launched by Rachel Clacher co founder of Moneypenny to tackle the issue of social mobility in communities in North Wales, WeMindTheGap works with unemployed young women who have been underserved, they may have been care leavers or lack family support.