Form the Future brought together twenty of their Early Career Ambassadors for a vibrant Lunch, Learn and Networking event in The Street at The Works, Unity Campus (Sawston) on Thursday 19 October.
It was the first such get together for several years and an opportunity for Form the Future to engage with a small portion of their 300+ active Ambassador community, who make an invaluable contribution to outreach activities in schools.
Guests were treated to welcome drinks and a delicious hot lunch by HitWrap street food van, kindly funded by Unity Campus.
A short talk from Chief Operating Officer Steve Thompson delved into the need in Cambridgeshire for Ambassadors to model and facilitate social capital to young people, to show what is possible. This becomes particularly compelling when you learn that:
- we have the highest growth of skilled private sector job, and lowest risk of jobs decline in the UK (Cities Outlook Report 2018, Centre for Cities, p25 & 61) yet East Anglia remains in the lowest quartile of regions for promising prospects (UK Government Data, UK Social Mobility Commission
- 70% of people did not have an inspirational role model when they were at school (research by Future First)
- in 2022, the Social Mobility Foundation for Employers Index showed that only 22% of companies in Cambridge do some form of outreach to young people
The difference our Ambassadors make becomes startlingly clear, when you hear that Form the Future’s Student Attitudes Survey from January 2022 reveals:
- 51% (under 16) and 84% (over 16) felt they had been given enough information to make choices
- interaction with parents, carers or teachers) accounts for a third of the influence over a young person’s career; a figure that rises when businesses or sector representatives join students’ circle of influence
David Brockway, Product Development Manager at Form the Future, then led a Panel discussion exploring the holistic and reciprocal benefits of volunteering, beyond the student. Dawn Easby Thwaits, Ambassador Engagement Manager from Form the Future, explains:
“I am sure each of our Ambassadors understands the impact they make on an individual level, especially when they meet students face-to-face. However, it’s also important to understand the difference they make as a collective community: making very real differences to young people in our region but also influencing their employer and the ecosystems, vibrancy and equity of opportunity in the wider community.
The event was also a wonderful opportunity for some of our Early Careers Ambassadors to meet like-minded peers and to chat, connect with and learn from one another.
I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone who came, to Unity Campus for hosting us and providing refreshments and lunch, as well as our brilliant Panel members: Amy Charbonneau (Operations Manager, Xampla), Erika Wagstaff (Assistant Principal and Careers Lead, Sawston Village College), Jon Green (Director, Unity Campus), Kayleigh Delacey (Strategy Manger, Kameo Recruitment) ,Rachel Hales (Founder and Consultant, Get Synergised), Risa Nagasaki (Senior Architect, Ingleton Wood).”
The Ambassador Engagement Team have plans to facilitate further meetings of their volunteer community in 2024 and will be using attendees’ feedback to shape future get togethers.
Form the Future supported more than 20,000 students during the 2022-2023 academic year. Research shared by the CIPD/Education & Employers in the ‘Value of Volunteering’ report January 2021, reveals that volunteering in schools also has positive impact for the Ambassador:
- greater motivation at work (68%)
- improvements to their sense of mission at work (79%)
- benefits for communication, influencing and relationship skills (80% or more)
- a better understanding of society and social issues (94%)
- satisfaction from helping young people and/or giving back to society (99%)
To find out more about becoming an Ambassador with Form the Future please email the team.
Form the Future will be hosting a special Lunch Reception for fifty Ambassadors at their Annual Conference on Friday 1 December. If you would like to join us, please email Dawn to find out if space is still available on firstname.lastname@example.org