Firms get insight into charity

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Calderdale charities Working Wonders and OrangeBox invited local businesses to come and find out about their work with young people.

The Business for Calderdale event at OrangeBox in Halifax provided companies with an insight into how Working Wonders acts as the glue holding all the apprentice providers together.

The charity, which is a tenant and partner to OrangeBox, aims to help young people aged 14 to 25 years old obtain the skills and experience they need to get apprenticeships and jobs.

It provides practical support with CVs, job applications, interviews and financial support towards the cost of work clothes, DBS /CSCS and ongoing support in the work place.

Working Wonders also helps businesses seeking to recruit apprentices, offering practical support with administration and paperwork as well as ongoing assistance.

Jayne Spencer, Working Wonders project manager, said: “A lot of the youngsters we help live in deprived areas of social housing have had bad experiences at school and find it difficult to get a job.

“Some have drug problems, others come from broken homes, foster or residential care, become homeless and end up sofa-surfing – sleeping on friends’ sofas.

“Others miss out on schooling because they spend their teenage years caring for parents, grandparents or siblings.”

The good news is that Working Wonders can help these young people become fit for work.

Jayne added: “Sometimes all they need is a hug and a chat to give them the confidence and self-esteem to get on the first rung of the ladder.”

Steve Duncan, co-chair of Working Wonders and Business for Calderdale committee member, opened the session and outlined the upcoming B4C meetings.

Martin Haigh, co-chairman of Working Wonders, then described how the charity started on the back of the success of Cycle for Work and explained some of the key activities, including a focus on attitudinal training for apprentices, and outlined the future direction for helping young people.

Jayne Spencer, Working Wonders project manager, talked about her varied role helping young people and managing the charity.

Another member of the charity board, Nigel Cliffe, discussed his personal experience of employing apprentices.

This was followed by a couple of young people describing their own personal apprenticeship journeys and demonstrating how Working Wonders had helped them succeed.

The visitors were asked to complete a pledge card indicating areas in which they could help the charity in support of young people in Calderdale.

The evening was rounded off with a question and answer session, light refreshments and a tour of the OrangeBox facility.

Last year Working Wonders helped 52 young people with its weekly support programmes: the Make Me Ready career advice workshops and CV/apprenticeship drop-in sessions.

Twenty-one of these youngsters have moved into employment or apprenticeships.

Eight have gone to college and three are on training schemes.

Sixteen are still not in employment, education or training (NEET), but 11 of these are still involved in the Working Wonders support programme to become work ready.

For more information on the event, visit

Or contact Jayne Spencer on 07807 011948.