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WOMEN IN BUSINESS
capacity. Jenny balances her work with time with her son and daughter. Emma said: “I meet so many women struggling to figure out who they are and what they want to do in work and life, particularly after having children, and I feel privileged to be able to help them to regain their confidence and move forward with a plan.” Jenny said: “My passion is to support women to find a work life balance that allows them to be fulfilled happy women who are achieving their potential and feel empowered, positive and satisfied with their lives, and to support organisations to enable the women who work for them to reach their maximum potential.” www.womentowork.co.uk
AMY COOPER, ONBOARD SKATEPARK For 10 years Amy Cooper owned a private day nursery, but sold the business when she and her husband decided to emigrate to Australia. A last minute change of heart led to the couple remaining in Sheffield and, not long after, Amy’s father passed away. Her dad had spent much of his life working with young people and identifying groups of children who needed support, not just in the UK but around the world. When he died he left an inheritance and Amy and her family felt a youth-related project would leave a great legacy for her dad. “We knew this would be something dad would love,” said Amy. “I was offered a unit in the old Stokes warehouse on Little London Road – where my dad had worked – and decided to turn it into an indoor BMX, scooter, skate and in-line park to engage Sheffield’s most vulnerable young people.” Through volunteer support Onboard Skatepark organically grew and help from ‘Comic Relief ’ and South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation enabled Amy to secure a business model that proved so successful she was able to secure contracts with schools and other organisations to engage people through sport. As well as public riding sessions, group bookings and ‘all-nighters’ it now runs as an enrichment centre for school hours (9-3pm) to provide qualifications and training – including English and Maths – in a more informal way. It has a café and
BMX shop which are sublet but which both work with the centre to provide training such as customer service, food hygiene, stock-taking and bike maintenance. “It’s not a formal classroom but we have the hook of extreme sports to keep young people interested and are able to teach skills in an unconventional way. We have an enrichment facilitator who puts our programmes together, we deliver AQA training and we have fabulous youth workers that are semi-professional extreme sportspeople who make perfect role models for the young people,” said Amy.
‘For us it is about supporting young people to reach their potential and delivering a service that can literally change lives.’ “We have been very fortunate in that we have created an environment that has grown to support hundreds of young people. Those that come to us are often well known to the police, have left education or are on the verge of exclusion due to a variety of circumstances. We have about 120 students each year and have a success rate of about 87 per cent for helping them back into mainstream education, employment or training. “For us it is about supporting young people to reach their potential and delivering a service that can literally change lives.” www.onboardskatepark.co.uk
CONTACT: : Jim Lawson Wosskow Brown Foundation The John Banner Centre, 620 Attercliffe Road, Sheffield, S9 3QS Tel: 0114 2300 100 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.wosskowbrownfoundation.org.uk
Apprentices in the spotlight