The SThree Foundation was launched in November 2016 to help talented young people from underprivileged and diverse backgrounds into the STEM industries. We look back over a first successful year with Head of CSR, Marie Broad.
What were this year’s highlights?
In collaboration with charity Generating Genius, we set up the Future Talent programme. We selected 50 sixth-form students who attended a workshop on the opportunities of working in STEM and went on to complete a week's work experience with one of our partnering companies.
In July, we held the SThree Foundation Charity ball and raised an incredible £36,000 which was donated to Generating Genius and the Aleto Foundation. With this donation, the Aleto Foundation is developing a new mentoring scheme and Generating Genius is creating an SThree/Generating Genius Big STEM Debate, which will both offer volunteering opportunities for our employees.
How have SThree employees got involved?
Besides fundraising activities, we always encourage our employees to get involved with charity initiatives and use their skills to make a difference. Thirty-eight people from SThree volunteered to help students in the Future Talent programme and employees from 22 partner organisations have been involved too, welcoming young people for placements.An employee from Salesforce said that the whole experience had brought their team together. They found it was “very uplifting seeing the students come out of their shells”.
A couple of months ago, we had our first Tech Clinic with colleagues from our IT team and our brands Computer Futures and Talent Deck who talked to over 50 young people about careers in the technology sector.
How do you think this is making a difference to people’s lives?
In many ways. As well as making a difference for the employees we’ve just mentioned, it’s made a big difference for the young people involved in the Future Talent programme. They tell us it has helped them increase their communication and presentation skills, develop their confidence and their ability to network.
One of the students placed at Barclays said the most valuable things they had learnt were “something that a school textbook couldn't teach, such as time management, communication, listening and teamwork skills”.
What are you looking forward to next?
We’re setting up University Scholarships for five Future Talent students to encourage more females into IT and Engineering, and we're looking to expand Future Talent activities to our other UK locations in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.
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