Help a disadvantaged young person launch a dream career

0 Hours to go
£1,650 raised of
£1,500 target

About this Project

What are YOU passionate about? Whether you are an artist or archaeologist, scientist or sailor, barista or, erm, barrister—we hope you love what you do. And we hope that you’d love to help a disadvantaged young person pursue a career they’re passionate about too.

For our pilot project we will offer 16–24 year olds an innovative, inspiring and—crucially—free year-long development programme that not only helps them get work-ready but also improves their levels of well-being too. It will include highly-individualised training and mentoring, as well as funded summer work placements and networking opportunities with progressive and ethical organisations.

Our aim is to give young people an opportunity to follow their passion, fulfil their potential, find a job they love and feel good about what they do. It's based on the premise that if you are young and passionate but don't have the connections or the money, it's unfairly tough to pursue the career you want. It's also based on the idea that landing an engaging job will help you flourish. AND if you can do that with a company or organisation that itself benefits society or the world in some way, well—you are on track for a happier life.

Through Buzzbnk we want to be able to fund the cost of at least one place on our programme for a promising young person (or hopefully two). You can find out more about our programme, including the 12 career categories represented, here:

By supporting our work, you are sowing the seeds for a young person’s future. Please pledge anything that you can. And spread the word. And have a happy day.


Get Involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out:
If you have...
2 minutes –
Email/Twitter/Facebook/shout very loudly about this page and our organisation to all your buddies.
5 minutes –
Next time anything about education or internships or employment or well-being or fair access or equality or social enterprises or seeds comes up in conversation, mention us! Tell people about what we’re trying to do and encourage them to get involved.
15 minutes –
Contact us! Send us an email or call us up and tell us what you think. We love hearing people’s opinions, and we really value suggestions about other people or organisations we should be in touch with too. So, don’t be a stranger...
30 minutes –
Let’s go get a cuppa! If you’re ever in Brighton or London and want to meet and chat, then we’d be thrilled. Tell us your thoughts. Ask us some questions. It’s great to be virtually connected, but we’re also fans of those old-fashioned face-to-face conversations.
A few hours –
Do you have a special skill? Maybe you are a VAT whizz or a design pro. Perhaps you make beautiful things. You might even know how to write the best grants in town. Whatever you’re good at or love doing, we could most likely benefit from your help! So if you have some time and would be interested in lending a hand, fill in the form on our site and we’ll get in touch:
A regular time commitment –
Would you like to be added to our list of potential mentors? We’re looking for people in the UK who are passionate about what they do and who feel they could inspire a young person. The commitment is not onerous: if we recruit a young person who is looking to pursue a career similar to your own, then we would ask you to be available for weekly 30 minute e-mentoring sessions at a time convenient for you for 18 weeks spread over the course of the year. And we ask that you meet your protégé face-to-face at our four great supper parleys, which will be held in London once every three months. If you’re interested and available, then please fill in our volunteer application form here:

Read More

Geographical coverage
Within a city/shire
What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
In terms of well-being at work Britain is amongst the bottom third of European countries. Of developed countries, Britain is one of worst regarding social inequality, ranking 26th on the most recent UN Human Development Report. The outlook is particularly bleak for 16-24 year olds. How does a disadvantaged young person successfully go about researching, preparing and applying for a good job? Especially in this current climate of cuts? And why should they be the ones to settle for jobs that do not engage them fully, just because they don't have resources to push for one they deserve?
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
There is an urgent need to provide holistic career support for disadvantaged young people. The EMA scheme has been scrapped. The Government has just cut Children's Services by £819 million—Connexions is one of the key services to go. Every university plans to charge more than £6,000 in tuition fees (and three quarters of them are predicted to charge the full £9,000) at a time when 30% admit fewer state school students than they should. And any young person looking for employment will be joining this country's biggest ever cohort of out-of-work youth: 20.6% of 16-24 year olds are unemployed.
What is your solution?
Spark+Mettle’s mission is to help disadvantaged young people unleash their potential and harness it to a fulfilling career. The UK’s education system falls short in preparing them to be competitive in the workforce. For the marginalised and the disaffected Spark+Mettle is an essential bridge between an under-resourced education and a fruitful, meaningful, engaged career.

We will provide these young people with a holistic year-long programme of education and training. Our programme has been carefully designed so that by the end they are able to find meaningful employment. They will also have improved their levels of well-being and self-esteem.
How will you deliver this?
Our activities will include:
i. Running a holistic training and development programme. This will be predominantly delivered through our innovative and interactive website.
ii. Providing a mentorship scheme. Accomplished mentors will provide weekly e-mentoring sessions as well as regular face-to-face meetings.
iii. Funding work placements. Our recruits research and apply for internships. We will provide a stipend so they can afford to attend them.
iv. Developing networks with progressive organisations and individuals. A key way to improve well-being is to take part in engaging, meaningful work. We will find organisations to take on our recruits that can offer this.

About Us

Project Contact Details
Eugenie Teasley
Organisation Details
30 Rochester Street


Company Limited by Guarantee #7620518
Registered Charity #1144020

Share Your Comments

Hello! Thanks so much for your comment. I am thrilled that you like the sound of what we're trying to do. And thanks for saying nice things about the video too! I feel as though it's important to try to convey what we're doing in some sort of visual way because (as you probably know all too well), trying to get people to invest in the nebulous concept of someone's future is not always easy!

To answer your question: this first year we're focused on London and the south-east, particularly Sussex. We hope to expand our reach in subsequent years. And because a lot of the training and mentoring is done online, it means we can build a flexible model quickly and roll it out widely. That's our hope! Do stay in touch (my email address is eugenie (at) sparkandmettle (dot) org (dot) uk.

Thanks again!

As someone who has focused my career on tackling inequalities, in my case in public health, I'm impressed by the aims of your project. Love the cool video as well. Good luck in raising sufficient support - what is the main geographical catchment of your project?


What do you think?

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Back This Venture
Show your support for our pilot project by pledging your priceless enthusiasm for what we do. All we ask is for you to keep us in your minds, and tell folks you meet about our work. In return we’ll add your name to our interactive supporters page on our website, and include you in our mailing list to boot.
6 Backers Purchased 6 Units
For the price of a (really pretty decent) coffee and pastry, you could pledge your support for our project and contribute to helping a young person kickstart his or her dream career. In return? We’ll send you 2 blank greeting cards, designed exclusively for Spark and Mettle, that are so awesome you’ll be digging out a pen and your address book in no time. And then there’s also the virtual high-five for donating when we add your name to our groovy, interactive supporters page. Plus you get on our mailing list, and we’ll make sure to keep in touch about how our Buzzbnk-supported young person fares throughout the year. Howzzat.
2 Backers Purchased 3 Units
Go Getter
You have no idea how far we can make £10 go. Well, maybe you do. And to say thanks, we’ll give you all of the above, plus some British wildflower seeds in beautiful Spark and Mettle packaging. Do you see what we’re doing? You sow the seeds of support for a young person’s future—we take that metaphor and turn it into a literal, actual gift to you for your giving. And then we watch them all grow.
11 Backers Purchased 11 Units
Ground Breaker
Wowza. You rule! We’ll give you the mailing list, supporters page shout out, 2 gift cards and a pack of seeds. And then you get one of a hundred limited edition Spark and Mettle plants. They’re great to look at even before they sprout. Seriously.
13 Backers Purchased 13 Units
Heavy Hitter
All of the above, including the limited edition Spark and Mettle plant to be grown at your leisure. Oh and we give you an extra pack of seeds, so you can spread the love a little further. On the supporters page you’ll be clearly listed as an early patron. And on top of all this you’ll get a £10 voucher for our online Shop for Dreamers (which will be stocked with good, mad and beautiful things). There’s more! More? Yes, more! You don’t just get thank you gifts, you get a say in the programme. You will have one vote to pick which out of our 12 career categories you’d like the Buzzbnk place to be for.
6 Backers Purchased 6 Units
World Changer
You get everything! The mailing list, the honour of being heralded as an early patron (online and in our print materials too), the gift cards and seeds x 2, the limited edition plant, AND a £20 voucher for our weird and wonderful, but ultimately rather practical, Shop for Dreamers. You also get not one, not two but THREE votes to pick which career sector you want the Buzzbnk place on our programme to be for. And whatever the outcome of the vote, you’ll be invited to meet the young person who was awarded the Buzzbnk-funded place along with all of our recruits at our summer graduation party in 2012.
6 Backers Purchased 9 Units

1 Youth on their way
£1,500 sponsors 1 youth in the programme
And then there were 2
Another £1,500 will sponsor a 2nd youth in the programme
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Project Supporters
sophie vickers
akasemi newsome
sarah riddell
Shane Kavanagh