National Lottery Funding Win to Support Young Women in Flintshire and Wrexham
A charity which aims to increase opportunities for women in Flintshire and Wrexham has received £1.1 million of National Lottery funding.
WeMindTheGap which has been running since 2014, has previously run successful traineeships for young women in Wrexham, Flintshire and Liverpool and this year launched its first traineeship in Manchester. The charity receives the backing of the Flintshire County Council.
This grant, from the largest funder of community activity in the UK, means that the charity can now grow its core team to set up 16 traineeships in different communities across the country.
By 2023, the charity will provide six months’ employment for 160 trainees in 16 different communities, sustain continued support for over 450 graduate trainees as they make their way in the world, work with over 140 local employers and 100 sessional workers and coaches, and create an additional 40 jobs.
WeMindTheGap Founder and Chair, Rachel Clacher, is a high-profile businesswoman and is co-founder of award-winning outsourced communications company Moneypenny. She said: “We saw a real need to address social mobility in our community, and we applied the same ethos that Moneypenny was founded on, to focus on helping young people in need,”
“We strongly believe in doing the right thing, treating people well and providing ongoing support. This is not about ticking boxes, it’s about business and communities, and helping young women who are operating within a system that often doesn’t communicate.
We have proven that public and private partnerships work, and more importantly that under-served young people can achieve real careers and real choices if they have access to the right opportunities.
This grant allows us to have the resources to bring those opportunities to so many more young people, and we can’t wait to see what they achieve. We thank The National Lottery players wholeheartedly for making this possible.”
Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at the National Lottery Community Fund said: “We’re proud that National Lottery funding is helping more young women thrive in their local communities by expanding this successful project. Through coaching and mentoring, WeMindTheGap empowers women to gain the skills they need to gain confidence and full-time employment.”
A WeMindTheGap traineeship sees young women undertake paid work experience in a variety of employment sectors, as well as being given new experiences, life coaching, support and mentoring.
The charity model is a six-month paid traineeship, followed by a further six months of support, as former trainees use their new skills to gain employment, education and a better life in general.
The charity aims to help underprivileged young women transition from “prisoners of circumstance” to “pilots of their own lives”.
Ten young women referred from across Wrexham and Flintshire are now halfway through their traineeship.
They were thrown in the deep end – literally – with a week’s outward-bound activities in Aberdovey.
From there, they attended a week of “getting ready for work”, learning the all-important unwritten rules of employment and the workplace.
By week four, the trainees were ready to join their first work placement, and are currently in their fourth work placement.
WeMindTheGap works with selected local businesses including Flintshire-based Redrow and Coleg Cambria and Wrexham businesses Moneypenny, Ramada Plaza Hotel and Solvay, to offer trainees experience within a range of environments, industries and skill sets.
The employment placements are designed to allow the trainees to find their talents and skills and gain confidence in a supportive environment.
In return, they enable Employer Partners to make tangible progress towards their social mobility goals, and to give their own employees mentoring experience and the opportunity to give back, which is proven to contribute to employee engagement scores.
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