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Form the Future – what a year they’ve had!

Form the Future – what a year they’ve had!

Form the Future are so proud of all they have achieved since starting in 2015, particularly in having reached over 30,000 young people across Cambridgeshire and helping them to develop the skills and knowledge that they’ll need to succeed in the future. Their diverse events programme enables students to meet inspiring volunteers from local businesses and learn more about the career opportunities available to them. This allows them to make informed choices at key milestones, such as when choosing GCSE or A-level subjects, and whether a degree or apprenticeship may be right for them.

2018 kicked off on a high with Jane Paterson-Todd, CEO of Cambridge Ahead, joining Form the Future’s Board as Non-Executive Director. Her significant experience in both the business and voluntary sectors, will no doubt aid them in their networking and fundraising efforts. Molly Askham and Cecile Freby also joined the team and they will soon be welcoming a new Fundraising & Development Manager, which will bring their total headcount up to 16.

Thanks to an incredible level of support in a public vote back in November, they were able to secure a generous grant from the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund to develop a new enterprise programme. The funding has allowed them to work with disadvantaged students who were at-risk of disengaging from education. Form the Future Enterprise Days encourage them to use their creativity to develop interesting new business ideas and give them the opportunity to work with local entrepreneurs who can guide and inspire them.

Form the Future’s STEM outreach programme, Cambridge LaunchPad, has gone from strength to strength with 25 leading Cambridge-based companies now on-board. To date, they have reached nearly 900 students aged 8-18 years old, with busiest month of events still to come! They have received an unprecedented level of support from schools, businesses and local media, who believe that their programme of hands-on activities with inspiring, real-life role models can truly help to address the skills shortages and gender imbalance in STEM at higher education and in industry.

In addition to Cambridge LaunchPad, Form the Future also manage the Cambridge regional tournament for the FIRST LEGO League in partnership with the IET, which is open to teams of students from across East Anglia. The overall champions on the day were ‘Team Aquarius’ from Colchester Grammar School who went on to awarded 2nd place in the Core Values Award in the UK and Ireland Final. They will travel to the USA later this year to compete in the World Championship, against teams from over 60 countries.

Form the Future’s mentoring programme has grown this year, which was greatly helped by a £9000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. They now have over 100 mentors paired with students from Years 8-12, providing them with the one-to-one support many need to improve their confidence, motivation and direction.

In March, they held their third Annual Conference as Form the Future. It is one of the few times such large numbers of school and business leaders come together to discuss and debate how they can work together. This latest event was their best yet, with nearly 100 delegates in attendance exploring how employer engagement adds value to education, particularly in the context of the Government’s new careers strategy. As their conference took place during National Apprenticeship Week, they gave extra focus to apprenticeships as a valuable option, stressing the importance of them in tackling the skills shortages in Cambridge.

Form the Future were absolutely ecstatic to win the Allia Award for Social Entrepreneurship in the Cambridge News & Media Business Excellence Awards 2018 and to be shortlisted for the Kate Gross Award for Social Enterprise in the Business Weekly Awards 2018. Anne and Michaela were also selected alongside our Non-Executive Director, Jane, as some of Cambridge’s most inspirational businesswomen in celebration of International Women’s Day, which was also included in the March edition of Cambridge Magazine.

They are very excited for the coming months as their team continues to grow and develop, and they continue to work hard to reach as many young people as possible. Their annual careers fair, Opportunities Ahead will take place on Thursday 5th July, where they are expecting hundreds of students to attend and network with leading employers. School are able to register their students here. Form the Future would like to welcome businesses to exhibit and provide an interactive activity that gets the students interested – registration here. There are also potential sponsorship opportunities – businesses can contact Catherine Hay at chay@formthefuture.org.uk to discuss these.

Form the Future are so grateful for all the help and support from their volunteers, school and corporate partners and funders, they couldn’t continue their mission without them! They would love to hear from organisations or businesses who are interested in providing financial or voluntary support, either to enhance their services in the Greater Cambridge region or to help them move into the surrounding areas. Please get in touch on 01223 781296 or at info@formthefuture.org.uk if you would like to discuss how you can contribute.