SOCIAL ENTERPRISE SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE APPOINTS MORTGAGE ADVISOR TO BOARD
The board of the Platform Project has appointed local businessman, Chris Blackwell. The Platform Project is a CIC that helps young people at risk of unemployment.
Chris, a director of independent mortgage adviser TED Mortgages, joins the project as a non-executive board member. The position became available due to the organisation’s rapid expansion. That and following the resignation of former director Andrew Wells.
Chris said: ‘I’ll be responsible for working with the SME community in Swindon and Wiltshire to increase support and engagement for the project. This will involve bringing on board sponsorship and work shadowing opportunities for the interns.’
The Platform Project
Based in the Dorcan area of Swindon, the social enterprise bridges the gap between education and employment by preparing young people for work. The CIC works with a range of funders, schools and employers to support target groups of young people.
‘I want to help the project integrate as much as possible with the local business community. Then, in turn, helps to grow its reputation in Wiltshire allowing more young people to enjoy its fantastic work.’
The organisation also has a strong commercial element. It works with employers to help them find work-ready, entry-level talent. And at the same time it helps schools to diversify their curriculums.
Chris added: ‘Having work and prospects for your future are such an important part of someone’s wellbeing.
Helping young people build skills to gain employment is vital. Local business people can get involved by contacting me to discuss the different ways they can support the project. This could be through:
1. Making a donation
2. Offering career talks
3. Work shadowing or more
Former management consultant, Sadie Sharp, founded the Platform Project. Its current directors include James Phipps, a philanthropic local entrepreneur. Then there’s Jon Joyce, director of Metro Bank, Swindon, and executive tech specialist Andy Langley. Each director serves a three-year tenure.
‘I’m always amazed at the enthusiasm and engagement we see from successful professionals when they understand what we’re trying to achieve. Chris is so generous with his time. Having him on the Board will help us steer our commercial offering for employers. It’s great to see someone who’s built a successful business himself, giving back to help other young people improve their career options,’ Sadie said.
The long-term goal of the project is to build a social franchise that will allow the repetition of its successful approach in other areas.