Discover A Diamond In Need Of A Little Shine
We know that our young people benefit enormously from introductions into serious working environments. They gain a greater appreciation of the sector they have chosen to work in, as well as vital experience to put on their CV. But because our programme prepares them for the next step, they arrive ready for work and capable of making a big difference to your business. We believe that everyone should be given an equal opportunity to prove their worth. That’s why we partner with businesses big and small to open the world of work to the young people on our programme. If you’ve got the drive to bring in new thinking, work with great young talent and help others grow, then we are the partner charity for you.
through the crisis
The coronavirus pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the lives of care-experienced young people; rising unemployment and financial instability, increased anxiety and loneliness, insecure housing and a general feeling of an uncertain future.
Over the past years, our staff, partners, and volunteers have built an effective support network that young people are able to tap into for guidance, expertise, and a helping hand. In the light of the new normal of virtual delivery and working from home, we’ve adapted the way businesses and individual professionals can make a lasting impact.
Coffee & Connect
In Care Leavers Week 2020 we launched a new virtual Coffee & Connect series aimed at bringing volunteers and care experienced young people together in a comfortable and informal environment. Each session focuses on a different professional and personal development theme, providing structure and inspiration to further discussion among participants. For example: ‘Wellbeing and remote working’, ‘Bringing your whole self to work’, ‘Creating effective to-do lists’.
Coffee & Connect is run on a regular basis. To learn more about future events please email Lucy.
Career Insight & Exploration
One advantage of remote working is that it enables more professionals and young people to come together and learn from each other. With Career Insight & Exploration, we aim to give individuals a chance to gain insight into a variety of industries, different career paths, and opportunities. Each session is prepared an delivered by professional volunteers (an individual or a team), who will share their personal career trajectory, what they’ve learned along the way, different experiences they’ve made, and some useful tips and resources to set foot within their industry.
Our Corporate Engagement Team is happy to support the development of the session. Get in touch to find out more!
1-2-1 Career Guidance & Insight
These sessions offer young people the opportunity to talk to different sector professionals on an individual basis, enabling them to ask questions and gain deep insight and understanding of potential career paths. This is particularly useful for those young people who are already thinking about entering a specific sector or career. Please speak to a member of our corporate team to learn more.
Drive Discovery Days
Raising aspirations, exploring different industries and learning about various career paths is the aim of this session. It differs from other sessions as it specifically aims at introducing our young people to our corporate partners and the opportunities they offer. A specific corporate partner organises a day of learning and discovery activities for a group of young people to grasp the ins and outs of the company, the industry, as well as different career opportunities and paths within them.
If you would like to run a discovery day in your business please talk to your account manager.
How You Can Help
As the experts in your field, you are best placed to teach young individuals the skills, knowledge and attitude they need to succeed in your industry.
Host An Aim Higher Day
Invite a group of young people to your offices and showcase what your industry has to offer. Teach them about the different career paths, opportunities and the impact they may have within your sector.
“I’ve enjoyed every part of the day, especially engaging with all the different team members and conversing with the employers.” – Jeremy, 19
Run Interview Pizza and Prep
The perfect volunteering opportunity for your HR-team! Help young people perfect their interview skills by running a series of short mock interviews and providing instant constructive feedback. Participants can then put your advice into action immediately and see their improvement through the interview rounds.
“HR-Speed-Dating was extremely helpful and I was given techniques to help with anxiety. I feel reassured that I have what it takes to succeed!” – Angela, 22
Volunteer With Us
From talking to a young person about your career over a coffee, to assisting them with writing a spotless CV, to becoming a mentor or running a fundraiser in your office, there are plenty of ways to get involved and have a direct impact on young care leavers’ lives. Click here to see how you can make the biggest impact.
What It Means To Them
– Morrilyn, 22
“Doing an internship at Hill+Knowlton was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had the opportunity to build transferable skills such as working to meet deadlines, working in teams and being able to manage workload, all of these skills will definitely benefit me in my studies. One of my favourite memory was the support I received from my line manager and head of the technology department;they believed in me, encouraged me and were very willing to invest in me, that I will never forget.”
– Adonay, 20
“The competitiveness of Finance as a career has proven to be challenging in particular with little experience. However, I have been lucky enough to have the help of Drive Forward who assisted me with gaining some valuable work experience with American Express. This placement gave me an insight into the Corporate world of Finance as well as exposing me to challenging work which has left me feeling more prepared and equipped to begin a career within the financial sector.”
– Henriques, 21
“My big thank you to you Brian at Lloyds Bank, you are the most amazing person that I have known in my entire life… I can’t even describe how important you were, you made me feel welcome throughout my placement at Lloyds. I have learned things that I will take everywhere I go. I won’t be scared to fail. I will learn from my mistakes and my resilience will grow.”
– Kerry, 25
“I had a great manager during my work placement with Berkeley, Marlene, who made sure every minute spent with the team I was busy learning something. It was amazing to find out so much about the construction industry,it’s actually really interesting. I learnt about the administrative process of document control, which I enjoyed as it’s a responsible role that requires a lot of organising. I also got to goon site and went to the top of the new development at West End Gate in Edgeware Road. The view from the top was incredible, what an experience, I was shaking inside, but I didn’t look down!Getting up early every day was really motivating, I was never late, I took in every minute of learning, I even gave a PowerPoint presentation to the team which massively boosted my self-confidence, and before I left Marlene gave me some great tips for my CV. What an experience, thank you so much Berkeley!
- Receive our monthly partnership email providing ways to get involved;
- Send us your opportunities and we will promote them to our talent pool;
Be part of a network of like-minded, innovative organisations:
- Access learning events and broaden your understanding of true diversity, care-experience, and inclusive workplaces;
- Share and exchange your own experience and increase your learning;
Be an active advocate promoting understanding and awareness of the challenges facing young people in care
Actively support the growing of our community.
You offer work experience placements, internships and Kickstart placements:
- All of our partners are provided with training and advice to create opportunities for young people support at Drive Forward;
- In doing so, you will welcome new talent as well as provide your existing team with the opportunity to learn new skills and broaden their horizons as they make a positive impact to care-experienced young people.
You provide tailored recruitment processes:
- Run insight and skills building sessions to ensure better access to your industry;
- Learn about other ways we have worked with partners to develop initiatives such as blind recruitment.
- Diversify your workforce: young people we work with come from a wide variety of backgrounds and will bring a fresh perspective to your organisation.
Be part of our partner network:
- Feature on our website and in our annual report;
- Join partner breakfast mornings, networking and training events.
- Be put forward for our annual partner award.
Sponsor one of our programme activities:
The nature of the contribution is agreed between Drive Forward and the Strategic Partner in order to best meet the partner resources and needs of young people supported at Drive Forward.
Sign up to an annual membership:
As a financial supporter and partner you have exclusive access to moral-boosting volunteering opportunities as well as first dips on available training spots. Your gift will support our employability programmes, partner training, and recruitment support.
Offer pro-bono support to develop organisational strategy or resources:
We value mutual learning and organisational growth. Our partners play a vital role in recourse development from conducting quality research, to branding and design work, to providing innovative ways to further our charity’s mission, and so much more. With us, you can make a real impact.
Transform your business. Transform lives.
Join Our Early Intervention Partnership Scheme
Become a partner for our pilot early intervention programmes, Breakthrough and Compass, and support children in care in London. Partners play a vital role in achieving our mission through a programme of activities including work experience placements, volunteering and sponsoring events.
There is no one way to work with us and we will work with you to ensure that the support that you offer makes a tangible difference to our programme participants and is tailored to the expertise that you can offer.
In 2017, Module Media went on a quest to help young people move into a career they truly enjoy. “I know that it can be really hard to get experience in order to get a job. I’ve had jobs turned down because I didn’t have the experience, but how do you get that experience?” says Design Manager Sabrina. Looking to work with an organisation to enable young people to get exactly the experience that would enable them to follow a sustainable career, Sabrina came across Drive Forward.
Shortly after an initial meeting with us, we introduced them to Jack, who had just graduated in graphic design and was highly motivated to find a job in the industry. Just as Module Media instantly felt that Jack would be a great addition to their small team, Jack immediately felt comfortable in the friendly family-like work environment. From the very start, Jack was given the opportunity to work on meaningful projects, have creative autonomy and prove his capabilities and willingness to learn. An initial 2-weeks work placement turned into a several months long internship and eventually into a full-time position.
Since then, Module Media have taken on two more young people from Drive Forward to expand their web development and management team. One of them is Akira, whose story (read it here) provides deep insights into the struggles young people with a background in care have to face up to.
Since partnering with American Express in late 2015, the company have delivered 13 superb work experiences – and there are more planned for the near future. AMEX’s Brighton office was chosen as the best location for our clients due to its friendly, inclusive atmosphere and the wide variety of roles available. A team of fifteen AMEX staff took part in DFF’s training workshop on better management of care leavers in the workplace, finding this very useful in their design of work opportunities.
The first three work experiences gave candidates the opportunity to gain experience in collections, customer service and fraud. They were also provided with insightful training on how to discover their own strengths and weaknesses, making them better placed to sell themselves or choose the right career path in the future.
At the end of each placement, AMEX hosts a celebratory lunch during which young people give presentations to senior staff on their individual journey and experience. There is no doubt that the first round of placements was a massive success. The second round focused in on the fraud department, as this was by far the area of work that candidates found most exciting. Candidates spent all 10 days in fraud, reviewing illegal applications and other fraudulent activity, learning about the subtle differences between forged and genuine documents and shadowing complaints procedures.
What Our Partners Think
“We have a fulfilling partnership with the Drive Forward Foundation. We’ve had an opportunity to attend ‘Lunch Club’ to support participants with CV skills and also to invite in a group to a store to learn about our values, have a delicious organic meal and have some fun creating smoothies. We strongly believe in promoting social mobility and look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.”
We understand the huge benefit that giving young people the opportunity to spend time with us provides. The experience they gain enables them to have a greater understanding and appreciation of our sector, as well as being vital experience for their CV. The Drive Forward young people are incredibly driven and motivated. They join us ready to work and learn. For us, there are lots of benefits. The firm has a strong focus on wellbeing, encouraging our people to be involved in different initiatives. There are many documented benefits of volunteering, but, for us, Drive Forward provides an opportunity to make a difference through a positive effect on the young people we support.
“Luke has shown a lot of potential, as well as boundless enthusiasm to learn, both attributes which make for a great member of our team. That coupled with his good work ethic meant that we would be foolish not to help him gain the experience he needs and in turn for Luke to help us build our development resource and ultimately enable us to provide a better service for our clients. Luke has fitted in seamlessly with the team and his dedication to ensuring things are done right, will see him go a long way.”