Katerina Rudiger (Chief Community Officer, CIPD) opened by talking about the power of doing well by doing good, emphasising that this isn’t an intellectual debate but is about what each of can do. Katerina’s purpose is to rally people to make a tangible difference, and the event is focused on:
– inspiration: sharing inspirational stories
– eclecticism: drawing input from as many sources as possible
– action: rather than grandiose statements, find a problem that you can address and do something about it. The team at CIPD can help.
Donna Hewitson (Steps Ahead Ambassador) shared her story; Donna left foster care and school at 15, got a bedsit on her own, and was advised by social worker to get a job in a supermarket. Donna started working in a pub and there was somebody who took Donna under their wing and challenged and supported Donna into focusing on what she could achieve. Donna’s career progressed really quickly, and the person who mentored Donna (even though they didn’t really realise that is was mentoring) was instrumental in this progress. Donna and her husband wanted to give something back, and explored fostering as a way of doing this, but it didn’t happen so Donna and husband actively explored other ways to give back.. Donna found Steps Ahead and found that she was welcomed with open arms to help, especially by the job centres. Donna still felt something was missing until she was able to spend time in Uganda as part of Connecting HR Africa, where she had the most life-changing experience that she felt completed her. Donna wouldn’t be here without her mentor. We have the ability to use our skills to make a huge impact. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but offer your skills to do something.
Saeed Atcha (CEO, Xplode Magazine) is – at the age of 20 – CEO of a charity, trustee of a number of charities, and a broadcaster. Saeed was in and out of care until aged 15. He saw newspaper headline describing young people as feral animals, as hoodies, as scum and he felt the need to do something about it. Saeed realised that the media was portraying young people in a very negative light, so he decided that he needed to do something about it and launched a magazine. He quickly realised that this also provided employment and training opportunities for young people and they have now trained 2,500 young people and are aiming to reach 10,000. It is important that the training is peer-to-peer – need to have young people as part of the design and/or delivery if want to reach young people successfully. Their first bit of funding also came with a mentor, and that mentoring played a huge part in their success.
Anthony Bennett (Anthony Inspires Ltd) – Anthony shared his personal journey; after a 2006 school trip to Disneyland Paris. he started to feel weird and couldn’t understand what people were saying. On returning to the UK, he was quickly rushed into hospital and was seriously ill, and given a 10% chance of survival. 7 weeks in hospital. totally changed his perspective and he started to notice things that he never noticed before and learned to live every moment of life. Anthony talked about how he overcome his greatest fear (public speaking) and then worked with Great Ormond Street Hospital to raise £8M. Anthony closed by asking us What is our superpower? We all have them, even if it often needs somebody else to spot it in us. Life is simple journey and it comes to and end. It matters what we do with it.
Charlotte Hill (Chief Executive, Step Up To Serve (iWill campaign)) opened by talking about the iWill campaign, launched 3 years ago in recognition that young people wanted to do more to help in their local communities but that there were loads of barriers to them helping. 4/10 young people are taking part in social action work in their community, and iWill want that to be 6/10 by 2020 (and it seems that young people are doing loads of great work in their communities). As well as doing good, these kind of opportunities really help young people to develop skills such as confidence, team-building, communication, and also help with employability. In HR, we can play a key role in embedding this in our organisation, we can help young people, and in doing this we can also role model really powerful behaviours. This transcends organisational boundaries and we should be thinking about how we can forge broad partnerships and how can we share the success stories, both of which will help to build a movement. Think about what you can do and then how you can get somebody else to do something. That’s how we start a movement (and there are lots of resources on the iWill website)
I’ve also blogged some reflections on the whole day, and here’s the session told through the tweets of the attendees: