Moneypenny Foundation – the very first ‘graduates’ celebrate success

Moneypenny Foundation graduates with Rachel and Diane

December 02, 2014

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The first ‘graduates’ of the Moneypenny Foundation have been celebrating the completion of a six month intensive programme which has resulted in full-time employment for each one.

The Foundation was launched in June 2014 by Moneypenny’s co-founder Rachel Clacher to help young women from Wrexham, who maybe haven’t had the best start in life, into work.

The trainees were chosen from candidates proposed by Wrexham agencies, and have undergone a six month traineeship comprising work experience, coaching, mentoring, as well as life and work skills and experiences.

They spent three weeks with each of six local employers – Wrexham County Borough Council, Ramada Plaza Hotel, Pendine Park care home, Jolly Good Van Hire, and Glyndwr University as well as time in Moneypenny’s HR and Marketing departments.

Along the way over the six months they enjoyed experiences ranging from outward bound activities, skiing, golf, archery and swimming to having tea with the Mayor, learning to cook, film-making; even singing in the Albert Hall.  They also brushed up on essential numeracy skills and learnt about nutrition, women’s health, local history and much more.

Skiing at Chill Factore

Rachel is delighted with the outcome of this first Foundation programme. She said: “The graduation event celebrates five extraordinary young women who have worked so hard over the past six months to achieve amazing things. There’s no greater demonstration of that success than the fact that they are all starting in full-time employment this week. The commitment and support of so many local employers and individuals is what has made this such an inspiring project: Wrexham has done us proud, and now these five girls are doing Wrexham proud in return.

“At the beginning we were told that this would be a successful pilot if two trainees, out of the eight that started with us, graduated. The fact that five trainees have done so and are now in full-time employment means that it has been a huge success by any measure. Now the challenge is on to raise the funding to expand the programme and offer this opportunity to ten young people next year.

“It has been a privilege to play a part in their journey and we are so proud of each and every one of them. We have seen the girls change from being prisoners of circumstance to pilots of their own lives.”

Diane Aplin Moneypenny Foundation Project Director added: “The success of this pilot programme is testament to the power of collaboration, sharing and volunteering. We are enormously grateful for all the support we have received from so many quarters, in particular the other Wrexham employers for believing in our vision, to the coaches and mentors who have supported the girls every step of the way and to so many other supporters who have helped us in far too many ways to mention them all – from donating train tickets, dresses and hairdressing to lunch at Tower Bridge. Our trainees have made the most of every opportunity presented to them and richly deserve the remarkable results they have all achieved. We can’t wait to see what all they all go on to achieve from here.”

Based on the success of the pilot Foundation, the second programme will start in April 2015. For more information visit the Moneypenny Foundation page or email


The Graduates:

1)The Moneypenny Foundation Graduates

Rebecca White (19): “I found out about the Foundation via Groundworks. I was struggling at the start as I was so shy and under-confident. I am so lucky to have had this experience – it’s been the best of my life, learning about myself, gaining new skills and meeting some amazing people. I have had the support I have needed and having a life coach has really helped.  Finding a job at the end of it is the icing on the cake.”

Rebecca is joining Jolly Good Van Hire in its Customer Services team. Once she has gained her maths GCSE in 2015, she aims to start a Foundation degree in Psychology at Glyndwr University.


Jessica Beck (18): “The whole experience has been inspirational. I had spent two years in a hostel and was dropping in and out of college with no real motivation. I had no patience. I had been used to quitting and never achieving anything so I never imagined in a million years that I would get to where I am today.  Everyone involved with the Foundation has been amazing. I’ve gone from having no belief in myself to feeling valued and important. I’m renting a house now and am looking forward to taking up a job caring for older people. This has changed my life. I never saw a future for myself. It’s given me a chance when no-one else would give me one.”

Jessica is joining Pendine Park full-time as part of the Dementia Care Support Team.


Georgina Carrigan (18): “My life was out of control. I was getting into trouble with the law and was feeling hopeless. I heard about the Foundation through the Youth Justice and Probation Service. To be honest I said yes as I knew we would get paid for doing it but now I know what a fantastic opportunity it has been in so many ways and I have learnt so much and changed for the better as a person. No-one judges us or cares about what we have done in the past – they take us for who we are and for our personalities. I feel like I have a chance in life now. I’m a much happier, more confident person. I feel very proud.”

Georgina will be spending a month in India, having won place on a Vi-Ability scheme that matches young people from the UK with teaching placements in Indian schools and orphanages. When she returns, Georgina will be starting a full-time customer service apprentice scheme.


Jodie Whelan (21): “My life was going nowhere.  I had been living in a hostel for six months when my support worker told me about the Foundation. I felt as though the world was against me and I’d never get a chance as people are quick to judge you. We’ve done some amazing things and learnt so much, finding things out about ourselves we never would have imagined. We have become great friends and I am thrilled to have had this chance. It’s been an emotional journey and I’ve learnt to look forward and not let the past hinder the future.”

Jodie is starting a four-month placement with the Careers Team at Glyndwr University. Later in the year, she hopes to spend a month teaching in India through the Vi-Ability scheme.


Chloe Griffiths (19): “This whole experience has changed my life completely and made me a better person. When I started out I was angry with the world and struggled to focus on anything.  The Job Centre pointed me in the direction of the Foundation and from thinking at the start that I would never finish the six months, I am a different person now with lots to look forward to. I love working with older people and am really looking forward to starting my job. I’m much more controlled now and positive about the future. I’m so glad to have met the other girls and to have done all the things we have done over the past six months. I would recommend the Foundation to anyone. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

Chloe is joining Pendine Park working as a full-time member of the Dementia Support team.


What people say about the Foundation:

Lucy Jones, work experience officer with Glyndwr Careers Centre, said: “It was a privilege to work with the Moneypenny Foundation and support these inspirational women in building for the future.

“The time they spent with the Careers Centre was very rewarding; they worked very hard, added a lot of value to the department and were proactive in organising workshops, volunteering, improving their CVs and producing blogs and videos.

“They have all gone on to find new jobs and take a different path in life, and we are proud to have played a part in that.”

Tracey Green, Enrichment Project Leader at Pendine Park, said: “We have been very proud to have been a part of this great opportunity for the trainees.  Each trainee has been a pleasure to work with and has been well liked by both staff and residents. The trainees should be extremely proud of what they have achieved, including a City and Guilds Certificate for Level 1 in Health and Social Care that they have worked towards whilst with us here at Pendine Park Care Organisation. It has been a pleasure to work with Moneypenny and we send our congratulations to all involved for a wonderful programme that has been a great success.”