As famously quoted by Mahatma Ghandi; “You must be the change you want to see in the world;” and this is the philosophy that drives Jo Clay, Founding Director of Empower Be the Change.
Empower Be the Change has successfully secured £246,000 from the National Lottery through investment from the National Lottery Community Fund – People and Places programme.
The funding will enable Jo and her team to support 1,000 individuals in Wrexham, Conwy, Flintshire and Denbigh through its Volunteer to Employment programme which sets to increase their confidence, resilience and employability skills.
“I have a passion for creating opportunities for people in North Wales to reach their potential, and thanks to National Lottery funding we’re able to support hundreds of young people, to build their confidence and resilience and secure full-time employment.”
“We don’t ‘do’ the programme ‘to’ people. We ‘do’ it with them. It’s about us listening and providing the best support for them, and making it a personal journey for them to realise and fulfil their ambition,” explained Jo.
People who participate in the programme are identified by schools, universities and job centres and are then supported to achieve an accredited qualification, and encouraged to take up community volunteer placements.
The inspiration for setting up Empower Be the change was taken from Jo’s time in India where she set up and managed “India Adventure” – an international volunteer program, which provides young people from the UK with volunteer placements with Silo India to gain valuable experience that supported their personal and educational goals.
“The success of the “India Adventure” program demonstrated that volunteering, is a catalyst for wider personal development, makes a significant and lasting difference to the individual. Seeing the benefits first hand is what inspired me to establish Be the Change,” Jo explained.