Harrison Centre renews partnership

Harrison Centre renews partnership

Hundreds more young people on Wearside will have the opportunity to access crucial education and employability skills, after the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility renewed its partnership with the Foundation of Light for the fifth year.

Based at the charity’s home – the Beacon of Light – the Centre provides tuition and training to help unemployed or recently left school young people to grow in confidence, gain qualifications, become more work ready and ultimately secure a job.

It was founded by entrepreneur David Harrison in 2017 with a belief that no one should be held back by background or upbringing and, in partnership with the Foundation, works with organisations to support disadvantaged people into employment.

Today’s announcement marks a milestone for the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility as over £1 million has been donated to social mobility causes across the UK since 2017, of which over £250,000 has been invested into Foundation of Light employability programmes at the Beacon of Light.

Over the last five years thousands of young people, aged 13 and over, took part in courses providing essential skills in ICT/Digital, Managing Finances, Maths and English, Personal and Social Development and Business & Enterprise.

This year alone, nearly 750 sessions were delivered face-to-face and with over 50 qualifications achieved.

David Harrison said: “We are delighted to continue our work with the Foundation of Light. I believe everyone needs a second or third chance, so if things don’t work out at school there should still be opportunities available – jobs are vital to improving social mobility and both skills and education are key.

“The role of the Harrison Centre is to help young people get a job and then keep it until they get a better one. There is a genuine community within the Beacon of Light and it’s no surprise that the Foundation has a national and international reputation as their work and staff are outstanding. They care about the community and helping people create better lives for themselves.

“We share a common goal and we’re only too happy to renew our successful partnership. It’s a great charity to be involved with – I’d urge others to get involved too.”

Sir Bob Murray CBE, chairman of the Foundation of Light added: “We are thrilled that the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility and the Foundation of Light will continue to work together to support young people in our communities.

“Much has been achieved together over the last five years but myself and David have a long-term vision to create a sustainable portfolio of programmes to support our young people to do more and be more.

“I take great satisfaction and pride in seeing the impact the Foundation has on the lives of so many people and over the last 20 years it has supported over half a million people across the region.

“At a time when we are all facing unprecedented, challenging and changing times, now more than ever the Foundation - and our partners such as the Harrison Centre - matter to the people of the north east.”

After setting up the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, David Harrison co-founded the national Social Mobility Pledge, alongside former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening.

The Pledge asks businesses to commit to working with local schools, offering apprenticeships and adopting fair recruitment policies, such as name-blind or contextual recruitment.

Since it was launched, 550 businesses and universities across the UK employing seven million people have signed the Social Mobility Pledge. One of the first companies to sign the Pledge was David Harrison’s financial technology business, True Potential, based in Newcastle.

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