Committed To Making A Difference.
But we expect that commitment to work both ways. We’re not a charity that promises to change your world overnight. But if you come with us, we do guarantee to be with you every step of the way on a tried and tested course designed for you to create a brighter future.
Please note that due to current Coronavirus restrictions all services are currently delivered virtually, with lunch clubs and Interview Prep & Pizza sessions being suspended until further notice.
Mutual trust, patience and understanding are the pillars of what we do here at Drive Forward. We understand the challenges you face during the difficult period going from life in care into employment and independence.
When you join Drive Forward, you will get an Employment Consultant who is here to guide you and provide you with the support, knowledge and networks you need to succeed. Together you will explore different career options, work on your CV and interview skills, and create a realistic route into employment or education. The important thing is, that everything we do is tailored to your specific goals and aspirations.
Bespoke counselling service:
Everyone here at Drive Forward also understands the importance of supporting your emotional wellbeing and that there may be times when you might want to speak privately with a trained counsellor. We can help with this and offer opportunities for free therapy appointments with Richard, an experienced BACP registered Counsellor. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit the Barnardo Counselling website and Richard will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have about arranging an appointment.
Inspiration And Advice From Industry Professionals
Once you have gotten into a new job, work placement or internship you will be offered the opportunity of having a professional mentor. We pair mentees (you) with mentors (professionals) based on industry and personality, ensuring their relationship is worthwhile for both of you.
Your mentor will:
- Provide bespoke one-to-one support on how to best utilise a new opportunity.
- Help you navigate difficult situations that can arise in the workplace.
- Give you support as you transition into a new workplace environment.
- Ensure you excel professionally and potentially open up their professional networks to you.
If you are interested in getting a professional mentor speak with your Employment Consultant or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you’re registered with Drive Forward and we’ve had a chance to get to know each other, you have the opportunity to have a peer mentor. All of our peer mentors are care leavers and have used Drive Forward’s services themselves to help them advance in the world of employment. You and your mentor will arrange your 1-2-1 meeting at your convenience and Drive Forward will fund your snack and coffee breaks. Mentors use their lived experience to help you with things like:
Your mentor will:
- Transitioning into employment and training e.g. how to best use Drive Forward and how to engage with corporate partners;
- Improving independent living skills such as budgeting, time keeping and planning your day or week;
- Navigating the care system and moving into independence. For example, what support are you entitled to and how to get it; where to go if there’s a problem and so on;
- Discovering possible career routes and interests: Most mentors will have completed work placements with different corporate partners of ours, so they will have insight into what it takes to get a foot in the door and are happy to share their experience with you.
If making new friends and advancing your career at the same time sounds like something you would like to do then get in touch with Nicholl at email@example.com Or ask your Employment Consultant!
Also, peer-mentoring is a fantastic way of giving something back to your community and help other young people navigate through the care system and the world of work.
Training & Development
Getting a job isn’t just about polishing up your CV. It’s also about building confidence through enriching experiences. That’s why we run a number of regular workshops and events.
Interview Prep & Pizza
Get first-hand interview advice from HR and recruitment professionals in this interactive and highly effective session.
For many people, young and old, the interview is the most daunting stage of the application process. But as the saying goes, practice makes perfect! So, in this session you get the chance to practice your interview skills in a series of short mock interviews followed by instant quality feedback. Our volunteers all have professional experience in interviewing candidates for a diverse range of industries and are, therefore, best placed to provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to impress your future employer.
For more information about Interview Prep & Pizza please get in touch with your Employment consultant or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Forum Theatre project allows you to imagine how situations in your life and employment could have gone differently. Actors play out and bring to life scenarios inspired by the experiences of our young people, and then give you the chance to play director and change the way in which the situation goes. Our sessions explore everything from race to gender to mental health and so much more. It includes a scrumptious ‘lunch with the actors’ and travel is,of course,reimbursed.
Mindfulness & Yoga
The classes include elements of the 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course, including resilience to stress and life’s challenges, how to bring awareness to everyday activities like walking, talking or eating, as well as how to cultivate a body or breath-based practice. These practices allow you to learn how to find an internal source of stability and calm, rather than looking for external solutions. It shows you that you can take greater control in maintaining or improving your well-being, both physically and emotionally. The classes include some Hatha Yoga, which is gentle and mindful exercise to bring together the breath, body and attention in one place. This can help you to slow down, to notice how your body feels and release tension and improve how you relate to body image and body acceptance.
Each session is 90 minutes long and most times you can dip in and out of the course as you see fit. If you’re interested in joining mindfulness please get in touch with your Employment Consultant or email email@example.com
Exclusive Career Opportunities
We’re aware that finding your passion and figuring out what you want in life takes time and we believe that the best way to get there is through experience.
As part of Drive Forward, you have access to a network of over 20 corporate partners across the city. Their businesses range from PR and advertising, to hospitality and construction, to legal and financial services and many more.
Only last year our partners offered 70 exclusive internship and employment opportunities to the young people working with us.
Forward On Racial Equality (FORE)
FORE was established with the aim of providing young people we work with a safe space to talk about race, how it impacts their daily lives, and how we can ensure that we are progressing racial equality across our organisation, our partners, networks, and beyond.
Over 70% of Drive Forward young people are Black, Asian or from minority ethnic backgrounds and so we understand the need for representation and a clear voice for raising concerns as well as empowering you and others we work with.
At FORE, we meet on the last Thursday of every month so that young people can voice their views without fear of judgement. We aim to provide a place of healing when bringing up what can often be painful and emotive. FORE is also designed to provide a clear and direct link from you, as young people, to management and our partner organisations. If there is a problem in the workplace, in college or University or even at Drive Forward itself, those issues should and can be shared with management and our CEO to ensure that they are not overlooked.
Essential to FORE is to encourage continued learning amongst the staff, young people, partners and volunteers. We are eager to hear your ideas on how we can improve in the ways that we support young people from BAME backgrounds in the workplace. We have also set up a book club in which we read and discuss books written by authors of colour. This is attended by staff and young people to further our learning and continue this important discussion. We invite guest speakers to our FORE meetings so that we can share best practise from our partner organisations as well as advise them on how they can improve initiatives on diversity and inclusion.
If you have further suggestions or would like to join FORE, we want to hear from you. Please contact Justin for more information.
Join our book club and receive a copy of our current book, give reading suggestions and join the discussion! At the moment our Book Club are reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. To receive a copy and sign up, contact Miranda.
Recommended Reading List from FORE members:
· Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
· Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené
· Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire – The Sunday Times Bestseller Paperback by Akala
· Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing by Joy Angela Degruy
· Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by Bell Hooks
· Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem by Bell Hooks
· Loud Black Girls by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene
· Killing Rage: End Racism by Bell Hooks
· Orientalism by Edward Said
Designated Point of Contact
Justin has over 10 years’ experience working with marginalised young people in London. Coming from a sports background, he moved from starting a successful youth football team to delivering anti knife crime workshops around the country. Justin has been part of a team that helped mediate peace between rival gangs in West London and uses his own experiences to help those he works with get positive outcomes.
Justin is passionate about racial equality and has been on the receiving end of racism and discrimination. He wants to discuss with the young people of Drive Forward face the same issues he did and if so, how the incidents present themselves. He is eager to create change for the young people of colour at Drive Forward and to do so, he understands the need to involve young people at Drive Forward in this continuous conversation. His viewpoint on racism and discrimination as a mixed race male now in his thirties couldn’t give him the rounded understanding necessary for helping young people a decade his junior. He believes the core issues of racism remain the same but the methods of discrimination evolve and change from generation to generation.
If you would like to raise a concern about how you have been treated because of your ethnicity at Drive Forward or in the workplace, please contact Justin.
Join Us At Drive Forward
Make sure you meet the following:
Then get in contact with us:
Please use the form below to get in touch with us. Alternatively, you can be referred to us by an agency like Job Centre Plus or by your Leaving Care Team. Just talk to them about Drive Forward and tell them to contact us directly.
Moreover, if you’re a foster parent or professional working with young people who fit the above criteria and want to find out more about our services or refer a young person to us, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch as well!