This week we speak to Catch22, SilverDoor’s nominated charity for the coming year, after a meeting to discuss the partnership. As well as supporting their ambitious Project New Horizons, SilverDoor is providing work taster sessions and participating in employability workshops. We will also take on apprentices through the charity to recruit the brightest young talent and give them the skills they need to enter the world of work.
Could one of you just give a quick summary of what Catch22 does?
Sarah: We work with young people to help them out of tough situations. If they have chaotic lives we try to turn them around, so that can be through education, employment, training, or working with any sort of family issues that they might have. If they’ve been offending, we look into some of their offending behaviour. 16-24 is the main age range for lots of our services, particularly those within training and education.
How do you benefit from corporate support?
Sarah: We benefit from skills and expertise, so that’s pro bono support that we can get from people. But what I like about Project New Horizons is that it opens the eyes of our young people to a world that a lot of them just have no idea about. Just coming into an office like this is a big deal for some of the kids we work with and it’s really exciting to be able to show them what else is out there.
Obviously we love all the funding that we can get, especially in the current climate, and any financial support just means that we can help more young people. We operate on really low admin levels, so all the money we raise enables us to provide the services we do.
What about businesses themselves – how do you think they benefit from the partnerships?
There are benefits from a positive PR perspective to showing that they’re trying to help the communities that they work in and it helps build brand reputation with existing and new clients; plus I hope it feels good! But I think that SilverDoor’s already doing that, because it seems like that’s just a stream that runs through what you guys are doing. As individuals you’ll benefit from the relationships you can build through pro bono support with our staff or with any of the young people that you meet. With these relationships I hope it will bring new perspectives, ideas and innovation into SilverDoor’s business and that you’ll also feel more closely linked to the communities you work in and some young people that maybe haven’t had an easy start to life.
Have you had any really successful projects that you have seen or worked on, that you could give as examples?
Sarah: One of the 18 year olds I met recently, who had been on Project New Horizons, was very articulate and was talking quite beautifully about his experiences and I was surprised that he was only 18. I guess he’s just had to grow up really fast. Before Project New Horizons he was thinking about going straight into employment because he just needed to start earning money. But he’s now in education and doing fashion, and doing things that he actually wants to be doing which is great but I think that’s a tough decision to make at that age.
James: You’re not always more employable with a degree. It’s the experience. And that’s why it’s crucial that large and small employers offer work experience, to get young people to understand the benefits of it and give them that experience on their CV. It often goes a lot further than a qualification does.
Quick fire round
Tea or coffee: Sarah: Coffee. James: Coffee
Christmas or New Year: Sarah: New Year. James: Christmas
Twitter or Facebook: Sarah: Twitter. James: Twitter.
Wine or beer: Sarah: Wine. James: Beer
X Factor or I’m a Celebrity: Sarah: X Factor.
James: [Grimaces]. I can’t say neither…? I’ll have to say I’m a Celebrity. I’m not a fan of either!
Sarah: Polar opposites you and I…
Next week we talk to Annalisa from Park Plaza, in one of the funniest Inside Scoops we’ve ever done…