This year - like many of the young people on our programme - the Career Ready team and I looked forward to celebrating its 18th birthday but our celebrations, rightly so, must wait.
Having joined Career Ready just a few months ago, I could not have foreseen introducing myself in this way, but my immediate priority must be to ensure our next 18 years are as successful and impactful as the first. This is where I must ask for your additional support. We always need support, but now more than ever.
I am reaching out to our community of employers and volunteers to ask for an investment in Career Ready to help protect our future, our young people, our future workforce.
If you or your organisation can help, please get in touch or donate online.
How has COVID-19 affected Career Ready?
You know us. Hopefully, you will have seen the transformative impact of our programmes, but I know there is still much more work to be done. I also know that the young people we work with will likely suffer most as a result of COVID-19 – their education, their career prospects, their long-term life chances are all at far greater risk than their more privileged peers.
The life-changing opportunities we offer young people are built upon real-world experiences. School closures meant the cancellation of hundreds of employer engagement activities. It was the right choice to postpone our internships but, these gaps in our programmes will further widen the social mobility gap and have a hugely detrimental impact on our students’ confidence and their understanding of how to navigate an even more uncertain future.
How have we responded?
Our dedicated team of staff and fantastic network of employers and volunteers have reacted quickly and curated an incredible virtual skills festival; students and mentors are conducting meetings online; we are working hard to listen to our network, to adapt and deliver meaningful experiences in the ‘new normal’.
Although we have been responding in an agile and prudent manner, reducing costs where possible and furloughing some staff, this may not prevent us from facing potentially severe financial loses.
How can you help?
Like all charities, we’re facing a challenging funding environment, the likes of which our sector has never experienced before, and there is a very real question mark against a significant proportion of the funding that we were expecting this year.
Thank you for partnering with us, everything you have done, and will do, to help thousands of young people across the UK realise their power and potential.