We Mind The Gap
Giving new opportunities in life and work to under-served
young women in our local communities through providing
totally holistic, paid six month traineeships.
Giving new opportunities in life and work to under-served young women in our local communities through providing totally holistic, paid six month traineeships.
WeMindTheGap is the new name for Moneypenny Foundation
Moneypenny Foundation was set up in 2014 as the charitable arm of Moneypenny, to bring new opportunities in life and work to unemployed young women who are currently limited by choice and circumstance. In doing so it brings the benefits of Moneypenny's unique approach to people development to a whole new cohort in the community.
We give under-served young women new opportunities in life and work through holistic six-month traineeships. During this, 10 trainees at a time receive 30 hours paid employment per week. Think Jamie Oliver’s 15, but geographically, rather than industry-based.
Such was the success of the first traineeships, run under the banner of Moneypenny Foundation, that a charity was established to deliver similar traineeships in new communities. Now named WeMindTheGap because we care about, and fill, the gaps in our trainees’ lives.
Three traineeships will run from September 2017. The Wrexham traineeship is delivered in partnership with Welsh Assembly Government as it looks into innovative ways of informing its employability programmes, and is supported by Big Lottery. The Flintshire traineeship is delivered in partnership with Flintshire County Council as it develops new opportunities for its care leavers. And the Liverpool traineeship is delivered in partnership with The Mayor’s Fund and other corporate funders in the region.
The first two years
In June 2014, eight young women aged 18-22, who were identified by local agencies as being disadvantaged or marginalised in some way, embarked on the Moneypenny Foundation six-month traineeship. Such was the success of the pilot project that in 2015 Moneypenny Foundation was established as a charity to offer traineeships on an on-going basis, and twenty young women aged 18-25 have taken part. In 2017, under the new name of WeMindTheGap, the charity will deliver three separate traineeships for 30 young women; 10 young women in Wrexham, Flintshire and Liverpool.
Together, each cohort of 10 trainees embarks on a holistic six-month programme which allows them to broaden their horizons, increase self-confidence, identify strengths and weaknesses, develop skills, identify potential, develop ambitions and create strong friendships. Ultimately to understand the power of having a choice.
We hope to offer this same opportunity to young women in new communities each year.
The results so far
Seven out of 10 of our trainees move from being totally dependent on the state with few choices to make, to leading completely independent lives in fulltime work or education with many good choices to make.
For every £10 invested, we leverage an additional £7 from like-minded employer partners and volunteers who share their expertise and time*
Our ROI is 1:3.7
We estimate that every WeMindTheGap graduate moves from costing the state circa. £25,000 a year to contributing circa. £19,000 – a net economic gain of £44,000 per annum.
More results that aren’t stats:
- The Crown Court Sentence of one trainee has been revoked by 50%, due entirely to the ‘journey travelled’ while on the traineeship.
- Seven trainees living in hostels now live independently in private accommodation.
- Georgina travelled to India for a month to work in an orphanage before taking up her full-time job. She is now saving up for her next trip out there.
- Jess is completing a foundation course that will allow her to start a Social Care degree at Liverpool John Moores in 2018.
- Jodie spoke so eloquently at a dinner at Windsor Castle to support The Outward Bound Trust that the host, The Duke of Edinburgh, sought her out afterwards to give his congratulations. Another audience invited her for work experience, and promptly offered her a job in childcare.
- Sophie A. has joined Moneypenny as an apprentice in Moneypenny Accounts department and has just passed her first two exams with flying colours.
- Vicky is in her second term of a degree course in Game Animation at Glyndwr University.
- Sophie M. is now a fully qualified PGL Outdoor Adventure instructor.
- Plus choices, confidence, GCSEs, experience, qualifications, skills, trust, friendship and ambition. And a few vacancies at the local homeless shelter.
Watch our video
"My life was like a rollercoaster before but now I feel I can believe in myself."
Lauren Case, full time Administrator
Favourite moment: Getting to meet everyone, doing amazing new things and sharing all the experiences.
Scariest moment: Working at Pendine and learning about dementia. Understanding that everyone needs different types of support at different times.
Found that she’s really talented at: Being a positive influence in the group and making Lasagne!
Her words about this six months: The launchpad couching week was a real turning point for me. It has given me a whole different mindset in terms of how I turn negative feelings around.
Lauren will be remembered for her “I can, I will, I’m going to” attitude, which has served her well as she is now working as a fulltime administator for a local company.✕
"I feel so much more confident and my health has improved."
Rebecca Bostock, Adult Care Team, CS Agency.
Favourite placement: Contact Shop, Wrexham CBC and Ramada Hotel.
Favourite moment: Outward Bound in Aberdovey and baking cakes with Nanny Mair.
Scariest moment: Standing on a ladder trying to complete the “Leap of Faith” knowing I’m terrified of heights.
Best learning experience: Gorge walking at Outward Bound. I had to trust people and rely on them to get the whole team safely down the river.
Found out that she’s really talented at: I’m more patient with people than I thought. With a positive attitude I can do anything.
Her words about this six months: This six months has been an unbelievable journey for me.
Becky stood up in front of 140 guests and the Foundation’s first fundraising dinner, held at Eaton Park by kind permission of the Duke of Westminster. Her speech was so moving she received a standing ovation.✕
"I’m far more open minded now"
Toni Jones, administrator at Ash Waste Services.
Favourite moment: Launchpad week with Matt Thomas on the “Who, What, How” course.
Scariest moment: Going to the cabin at night on Outward Bound. Starting my placement at Pendine as I didn’t think I’d like adult care but loved it!
Best learning experience: Learning to think more positively. My coach worked with me during the traineeship to help me change my mindset.
Found out she’s really talented at: White water rafting!
Her words about this six months: My life was in a rut. I was feeling very low with no motivation. Now I have a future and can set a great example to my sons.
Toni has joined Ash Waste Services as part of their customer team. She is busy with her two boys and determined to set a great example for them.✕
"Applying to be part of the foundation has been the best thing I have ever done."
Sophie Mcgarrity, Moneypenny accounts team.
Favourite moment: Launchpad week and spending the review week together. We had so much fun. Pam made me realise I am really good at maths!
Scariest moment: Gorge walking in the freezing cold and walking up to the cabin at night.
Best learning experience: The blind asault course. It taught me to trust others and the importance of communication and teamwork.
Found that she’s really talented at: White water rafting and making the perfect bed thanks to Wendy and her team’s training at Ramada Hotel.
Her words about this six months: I’m much more confident as a person now. I have learnt so many new skills. I’ve made friends and feel I’m independent.
Sophie joined Moneypenny admin team on a part-time basis. As a result of her hard work, commitment and newly discovered ability with number she has been offered an Accountancy apprenticeship on the Accounts team.✕
"Be yourself, give everything as go, but most importantly challenge yourself."
Sarah Coleman, Tesco plc.
Favourite moment: Meeting the other trainees, making friends and learning to work together as a team.
Scariest moment: The night trip to the cabin during Outward Bound. It was so dark!
Best learning experience: Finding that I prefer to drink water to Red Bull, that I am resillient and deserve my 100% attendance record.
Found that she’s really talented at: Archery and drama.
Her words about this six months: Six months on and I’m so much more independent. I feel like my life is back on track. I’m better at timekeeping and I feel both physically and mentally better all round.
Sarah joined Tesco in December 2015. She appeared on their Facebook “Christmas lights detangling service film” and was a big hit! She continues to work at Tesco and enjoys seeing so many of her Moneypenny family there.✕
"I now have a go at anything, even if I don’t think I’m going to like it."
Victoria Mullen, Glyndwr
Favourite moment: Visiting Erddig and our night walk watching the stars.
Scariest moment: Gorge walking and white water rafting.
Best learning experience: If I have confidence, I can do anything. 5
Found that she’s really talented at: Being creative, expressing my opinion in my cartoon drawings and being resilient – I have achieved 100% attendance.
Her words about this six months: Thanks for all the support I’ve had, particularly to my coach and mentor. I feel so much more confident.
Vicky currently works at Tesco’s café while developing her art portfolio. With support from the Reaching Wider team at Glyndwr she is looking forward to starting a degree in Illustration and Animation in September 2016.✕
"I can achieve anything if I want to when I put my mind to it"
Rebecca White, Jolly Good Van Hire
Greatest moment: meeting the girls, getting to know them and making great friends.
Scariest moment: meeting everyone on the first day, because I was so shy.
Best learning experience: knowing that I can achieve anything if I want to when I put my mind to it.
Found out that she’s really talented at: physical challenges; I am fearless where heights are concerned! Give me a jetty and I will jump off it.
Her words about the six months: best experience of my life, learning about myself and being able to remain in full-time employment at the end of the six months.
Becky has joined Jolly Good Van Hire in their Customer Services team. Once she has gained her Maths GCSE in 2015, she aims to start a foundation degree in Psychology at Glyndwr University.✕
"I could not have got this far without my life coach. She is amazing"
Jodie Whelan, full-time nanny
Favourite moment: being in Aberdovey and taking part in the Outward Bound course
Scariest moment: jumping off the jetty
Best learning experience: being in Glyndwr and using their systems and being part of their team
Found out that she’s really talented at: being a leader!
Her words about this six months: emotional
Jodie recently shared her Moneypenny Foundation experience in front of 80 people, at a special dinner hosted by the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle!
Jodie is now working as a full-time nanny, looking after three young children in the family home.✕
"If I focus on something I can achieve it"
Favourite placement: Moneypenny and Contact Centre Wrexham
Favourite moment: Aberdovey and jumping off the jetty; Chill Factore and learning to ski
Scariest moment: completing the climbing wall and wobbly pole on Outward Bound; and making the film
Best learning experience: skiing and all the work experience at the different placements, even the ones I didn’t enjoy very much
Found out that she’s really talented at: if I focus on something I can achieve it, whether that’s climbing a wall or finishing a task at work I’ve been asked to do
Her words about this six months: spectacular
Georgina has just returned from spending a month in India, having won a place on a Vi- Ability scheme that matches young people from the UK with teaching placements in Indian schools and orphanages.✕
Jessica Beck, Pendine Park Care Home
Greatest moment: meeting life-changing people
Scariest moment: at Nantyr in the first week of the course and having to bring up our past. But together we got through it and look at us now!
Best learning experience: learning how to ski and how to adapt to new work placements
Found out that she’s really talented at: caring for people and being a people’s person
Her words about the six months: life-changing!
Jess has joined Pendine Park as a full-time member of their Dementia care support team.✕
"I've now got 4 best friends"
Chloe Griffiths, Pendine Park Care Home
Favourite moment: being able to spend three weeks around elderly people and knowing that is what I want to do for a career
Scariest moment: having to walk into Moneypenny on the first day, and being tipped into the sea on the Outward Bound by Jess!
Best learning experience: Pam helping me to realise that I can do Maths and English and making me believe I can get my qualifications
Found out that she’s really talented at: singing – with her Mentor in the choir and with the residents at Pendine
Her words about this six months: I have learned so much about me and I know now that I am people’s person. I’ve now got 4 best friends.
Chloe has joined Pendine Park working full-time time at Hilbre House.✕