Help a disadvantaged young person launch a dream career

by Spark+Mettle

About the project


Tipping Point £1,500
And then there were 2 £3,000
tipping point
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
In terms of well-being at work Britain is amongst the bottom third of European countries. Of developed countries, Britain is one of worst regarding social inequality, ranking 26th on the most recent UN Human Development Report. The outlook is particularly bleak for 16-24 year olds. How does a disadvantaged young person successfully go about researching, preparing and applying for a good job? Especially in this current climate of cuts? And why should they be the ones to settle for jobs that do not engage them fully, just because they don't have resources to push for one they deserve?
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
There is an urgent need to provide holistic career support for disadvantaged young people. The EMA scheme has been scrapped. The Government has just cut Children's Services by £819 million—Connexions is one of the key services to go. Every university plans to charge more than £6,000 in tuition fees (and three quarters of them are predicted to charge the full £9,000) at a time when 30% admit fewer state school students than they should. And any young person looking for employment will be joining this country's biggest ever cohort of out-of-work youth: 20.6% of 16-24 year olds are unemployed.
What is your solution?
Spark+Mettle’s mission is to help disadvantaged young people unleash their potential and harness it to a fulfilling career. The UK’s education system falls short in preparing them to be competitive in the workforce. For the marginalised and the disaffected Spark+Mettle is an essential bridge between an under-resourced education and a fruitful, meaningful, engaged career. We will provide these young people with a holistic year-long programme of education and training. Our programme has been carefully designed so that by the end they are able to find meaningful employment. They will also have improved their levels of well-being and self-esteem.
How will you deliver this?
Our activities will include: i. Running a holistic training and development programme. This will be predominantly delivered through our innovative and interactive website. ii. Providing a mentorship scheme. Accomplished mentors will provide weekly e-mentoring sessions as well as regular face-to-face meetings. iii. Funding work placements. Our recruits research and apply for internships. We will provide a stipend so they can afford to attend them. iv. Developing networks with progressive organisations and individuals. A key way to improve well-being is to take part in engaging, meaningful work. We will find organisations to take on our recruits that can offer this.

Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    Email/Twitter/Facebook/shout very loudly about this page and our organisation to all your buddies.
  • 5 minutes
    Next time anything about education or internships or employment or well-being or fair access or equality or social enterprises or seeds comes up in conversation, mention us! Tell people about what we’re trying to do and encourage them to get involved.
  • 15 minutes
    Contact us! Send us an email or call us up and tell us what you think. We love hearing people’s opinions, and we really value suggestions about other people or organisations we should be in touch with too. So, don’t be a stranger...
  • 30 minutes
    Let’s go get a cuppa! If you’re ever in Brighton or London and want to meet and chat, then we’d be thrilled. Tell us your thoughts. Ask us some questions. It’s great to be virtually connected, but we’re also fans of those old-fashioned face-to-face conversations.
  • A few hours
    Do you have a special skill? Maybe you are a VAT whizz or a design pro. Perhaps you make beautiful things. You might even know how to write the best grants in town. Whatever you’re good at or love doing, we could most likely benefit from your help! So if you have some time and would be interested in lending a hand, fill in the form on our site and we’ll get in touch:
  • Regular time commitment
    Would you like to be added to our list of potential mentors? We’re looking for people in the UK who are passionate about what they do and who feel they could inspire a young person. The commitment is not onerous: if we recruit a young person who is looking to pursue a career similar to your own, then we would ask you to be available for weekly 30 minute e-mentoring sessions at a time convenient for you for 18 weeks spread over the course of the year. And we ask that you meet your protégé face-to-face at our four great supper parleys, which will be held in London once every three months. If you’re interested and available, then please fill in our volunteer application form here:

Share your comments

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Eugenie 16 June 2011 - 16:42

Hello! Thanks so much for your comment. I am thrilled that you like the sound of what we're trying to do. And thanks for saying nice things about the video too! I feel as though it's important to try to convey what we're doing in some sort of visual way because (as you probably know all too well), trying to get people to invest in the nebulous concept of someone's future is not always easy!

To answer your question: this first year we're focused on London and the south-east, particularly Sussex. We hope to expand our reach in subsequent years. And because a lot of the training and mentoring is done online, it means we can build a flexible model quickly and roll it out widely. That's our hope! Do stay in touch (my email address is eugenie (at) sparkandmettle (dot) org (dot) uk.

Thanks again!

Synedrum 15 June 2011 - 23:52

As someone who has focused my career on tackling inequalities, in my case in public health, I'm impressed by the aims of your project. Love the cool video as well. Good luck in raising sufficient support - what is the main geographical catchment of your project?

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About the organisation

Geographical coverage

Within a city/shire