The Panoply is committed to creating sustainable change in our world by enabling communities and organisations to be more effective in shaping inclusive, equitable and productive societies.
In November many people across the group had some incredible opportunities to get actively involved in our commitment to building sustainable futures for people, planet and communities. Here, we take a look at a couple of those.
Radical Recruit bridges the gap between disadvantaged job seekers and the business world. They are an innovative social recruitment consultancy, who employ a values-led approach to sourcing talent and represent those who are underrepresented in the labour market; working exclusively with disadvantaged candidates from marginalised communities.
People from these marginalised communities have enormous potential but the sad reality is that they are often overlooked because they are viewed through a lens of mistrust; perceived as antisocial or lacking skills to secure and sustain meaningful paid employment. Subsequently, candidates are refused access to the labour market and discarded on a talent scrap heap; denied the opportunity to become contributing and valued members of society.
David Biden, CEO at Human+, started working with Radical Recruits a couple of years ago and more recently introduced their work to The Panoply. Working with the programme locally in Kent he had an eye opening experience going into the local prison to work with a-soon-to-be released group of women on building their job seeking confidence.
The experience really broke down many of the misconceptions he had of people in prison. He found a really friendly bunch of people, many of whom were first time offenders and had made one bad decision, sometimes due to a domestic abuse situation, and were now scared or worried about entering the job market again.
Volunteers from Human+ and Foundry4 joined half day virtual workshops alongside Radical recruits who were currently looking for work. The sessions kicked off with a short opening chat about interview techniques and then volunteers were matched with a Radical, where all parties rolled up their sleeves and started workshopping answers to interview questions.
Martin Griffith, from Human+, summed up the experience of one of the Radical recruits workshops perfectly:
“I’ve just finished the Radical Recruits volunteering, what an incredible afternoon!
I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone and everyone. Even though I don’t feel particularly confident myself in interviews and I’ve never been on the other side of the table (and therefore felt totally out of my depth when asked to interview a Radical), it quickly became apparent the session was far more about building confidence.”
“This is such important work to help someone get back on their feet, and build the self-confidence required to make a good impression in an interview. It’s a way of helping people to feel that they are in with a chance of getting the job at all, and have something to offer that people will listen to.”
Neal Gandhi, CEO of The Panoply, also attended one of the workshops:
“I have to say, coaching an 18 year old with a criminal record to rediscover his mojo was the most rewarding thing I’ve done in ages. Even more rewarding than a doubling in share price over the last month or so!”
One of Radical Recruits’ challenges as an organisation is to scale and find volunteers. They need to raise money and sponsorship, so we’ll be looking at ways we might be able to support them in the future.
As part of Community Action Month Manifesto is currently running a Work Experience programme supporting two students from a Graphic Design background in their professional development. The two students have joined the company via Kori, an organisation based in London that provides pathways for young BAME people to nurture personal and professional growth, very much in line with the group’s values.
The programme designed by Manifesto is purposefully ‘low effort, high value’ with an aspiration for this type of initiative to be something that they will grow and develop for the future.
The aim of the programme is to get the students to feel, want, experience and be energised by digital, both within an agency and more generally. Firstly, the programme helps them to learn what digital is, the way an agency works, and to expand on their interest in design and how this sits within the project life cycle in an agency.
Secondly, it asks them where do they want to go in their career, and what route is best for them? Finally, it helps them feel confident, successful and accomplished at the end of the experience.
The students – Joy and Muhammed – have been with Manifesto from 16th of November and will work with them until 30th December 2020 (on a virtual basis). Through this programme Manifesto hopes to have furthered their aim of raising awareness in the younger generation to the new opportunities in the Digital Industry.
SegaNaKade (translated from Bulgarian – Where to now)
SegaNaKade is a charity organization co-create by Evelina Malinova, Finance Controller at Questers, Bulgaria and managed by one of her best friends.
Evelina went through a tough surgery this year and had to rest a lot. Both and her friend are very enthusiastic mountain climbers and travelers but faced with these circumstances they decided to make the most of a negative situation and dedicate the money they were unable to spend on their adventures towards something good – helping children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Their idea was to create a charity supporting young people from low-income families or without parents to continue their education and find a job. Through some research, they quickly found out that one of the biggest difficulties young people from such backgrounds are faced with (in Bulgaria) when searching for a job, is having a driving license. As you can imagine the cost of signing up for a driving license course is in most cases too high for them.
SegaNaKade organizes and finances driving license courses for disadvantaged young people and assigns mentors to guide and help them through the process as well and help them with anything else that they need in their journey. The very young charity was able to design a process, create relationships with secondary schools in Bulgaria to find candidates, conduct interviews, find sponsors, organise the courses and assign mentors in a matter of months.
21 young people have joined the programme between February and December 2020 and 7 of them have already found a job, with one of them even signing up as a mentor on the programme. Those who are still in the process have are continuing their studies but have been inspired to pursue careers in education, IT and the health sector. SegaNaKude helps the students apply and supports them by paying for their courses or university fee.
“I want to mention how proud I am of my colleagues at Questers, as they joined and supported our cause. Big thanks to Tatyana Marinova who has joined several interviews and has helped us design the process. Thank you to Zornica Todorova and Aglika Lekarova who have provided books, clothes and shoes for our successful candidates. I am proud to be part of a great team with such dedicated and amazing colleagues and be working in a socially responsible company that supports young people and education.”
In 2021 the organisation is planning to create the work on branding, creating a website and social media profiles in order to reach more people and double their cohort.