2023 Autumn Newsletter

A note from our CEO:

I’m excited to present the autumn term highlights as we near the end of the year and reflect on the work that we have done with our wonderful young people.It has been a busy start to the new academic year. We welcomed new Year 9 students onto our FutureMe programme in London, Kent and Nottingham.
Alongside one-to-one coaching, young people across all three of our programmes attended work insight days at a variety of workplaces including banks, care homes and zoos, to broaden their understanding of the world of work.
In November, we were delighted to be shortlisted for two London Youth Awards – the Inspiring Young Changemakers Award, for our youth participation work, and the Creating a Better London award, for our Future Leaders programme, which supports black male students who have been excluded or are at risk of being excluded from mainstream education, to transition into employment or further education. I enjoyed attending the awards evening with some of our coaches and young people from our FutureMe and Future Leaders programme. It was a truly inspiring evening filled with celebration of the amazing achievements of youth organisations in London.

Programme Delivery:

Ambassadors and InspireMe:

Year 9 students on our FutureMe programme have been enrolled onto our Ambassador Programme, where they will plan and deliver social action projects about a social issue they feel is important in their local community. Last week, all ambassadors came together online for our national annual InspireMe event. Ambassadors participated in activities to broaden their understanding of social action and get them thinking about their projects. We can’t wait to see how these develop next year!  

Ambassadors chose to tackle social issues including racism, homelessness, mental health, knife crime, and humanitarian aid.

Refining our FutureMe programme:

We are thrilled to have been awarded a grant from City Bridge Foundation to refine and expand our work with young women on our FutureMe programme, to support them to secure employment and create brighter futures. The grant will allow us to support 100 young women (ages 15-18) in London through coaching, employability activities and peer mentoring. 
Young women face issues in the labour market including discrimination, sexism and gender pay gaps. Research has shown that young women have been hit hardest by the impact of Covid: they are more likely than men to be NEET, to work in low-paid jobs and to have unpaid caring responsibilities. Girls living in poverty, disabled workers and those facing racial inequality in particular face structural barriers and higher unemployment rates.  
Over 3 years, our new project will support women facing these issues. They will receive one-to-one coaching, helping young women develop post-16 employability action plans and gain skills and opportunities to achieve their goals. We will also provide gender-based group coaching and #employability activities involving female volunteers working in a wide range of industries.  
We can’t wait to begin this project and see our FutureMe young women’s confidence, skills, and employment prospects grow and develop! 

Our DFN-MoveForward programme:

In the summer term we announced that our DFN-MoveForward programme is coming to an end after an incredible five years.  
We are immeasurably proud to have served and supported over 270 young people during the lifetime of the programme. We are committed to continuing to support young people with SEND to transition into employment and are working on plans for new programmes which will come to fruition in 2024.  Please stay tuned for further information on this area of our work. 

Our work to tackle school exclusion:

Our Future Leaders programme is also reaching the end of its pilot period. Over the past year, we supported 60 black male students in Year 10 and Year 11 to access coaching, work experience, work insight days and mentoring opportunities with black role models.  

We will be continuing this area of our work in 2024 with young people who have been or are at risk of being excluded from mainstream education.  

Again, please keep an eye on our e-newsletters and social media to hear more about our future plans. 

“Being on the Future Leaders programme has impacted my future goals, because before I started the programme I was a sport person – I wanted to make it in sports. However with the work experience opportunities we did, I saw there’s life other than sports and there’s other career opportunities that I can delve into. I’m very outspoken right now, but beforehand I was a very shy person, I kept to myself and my little circle of people, but the programme is helping to broaden that and helping me be able to speak to people I wouldn’t normally speak to. It has helped bring up my confidence.”
Elliot, Future Leaders Student


We’re very excited that ThinkForward is growing! In 2024, we will be reaching even more young people, including expansion into new areas of London and the UK.

We are currently recruiting for four roles. If you are passionate about working for an organisation that improves the lives of young people who face challenges, to support them to achieve brighter futures, then please have a look at the jobs we are currently advertising here.

  • Communications & Youth Participation Officer
  • Database Administrator
  • FutureMe Progression Coach – Nottingham
  • SEND Employment & Progression Coach – Hounslow

Should you want to apply, then please  


The Big Give Campaign:

We are thrilled to have exceeded our ambitious Big Give Campaign target of £60,000, raising a total of £60,317. This is an increase compared to the £40,000 we raised during the Big Give last year, and we are extremely grateful for all the extra support. These funds are vital for us to continue our work supporting young people to successfully transition from school into further education or employment. A huge thank you on behalf of everyone at ThinkForward to all who generously donated during this campaign, or shared our campaign with your networks, we really appreciate your support.