From education to employment

Educational resources supplier Findel partners with Rio Ferdinand Foundation for 2,000 children to gain work and skills experience


Educational resources supplier Findel has teamed up with national charity for youth and community development the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to launch a Communities programme in the north west of England.

Headquartered in Hyde, Greater Manchester, Findel’s three-year partnership is being delivered via its Findel Foundation. Launched last November, the Findel Foundation is a long-term initiative to provide ongoing support to a range of children’s education, wellbeing and environment causes throughout the UK.

One of its goals is to provide experiences of work to more than 2,000 children and young people by April 2026 which led to developing the communities programme with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation.

The Communities programme is currently being rolled out across Manchester, Tameside, Oldham and Salford. It offers young people a progressive three-year programme focusing on skills development and opportunities in sport, music, digital, media and technology.

In addition to uniting communities through sport, music and the arts, the programme provides creative accredited training for more than 100 young people per year to boost their CVs and raise their aspirations to achieve.

Head of Findel Foundation, Claire Woolley, said:

“We are incredibly excited about our partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, right from our initial conversation it was clear that there were so many synergies between both of our ambitions and overall objectives.

“The Communities programme will allow us to support children and young people in and around Greater Manchester to help raise their future career aspirations as well as promoting their health and wellbeing.

“Since we launched the Findel Foundation, we have already had some amazing success stories where we’ve positively impacted children and young people through our volunteering and careers programmes.

“Our partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation will allow us to further develop our reach across the North West and beyond.”

Supported by Findel colleagues, the Communities programme gives participants access to various personal and social development workshops to build their skills and confidence. These include CV writing, mock interviews and workplace safaris.

The programme also takes learning from the 2022 Rio Ferdinand Foundation digital skills programme. This was delivered in Oldham in partnership with the Department for Education and through its extensive partner network that includes Warner Music, the Jockey Club and Kiss FM.

It will provide progression opportunities and pathways for marginalised and underrepresented young people into a range of industries, with a keen focus on females in STEM as well as sports.

Gary Stannett, CEO at Rio Ferdinand Foundation, added:

“I am pleased to announce our new partnership with Findel – a company based in Greater Manchester that works in education, using their staff, expertise, and resources to support young people to improve their education and life chances.

“I am looking forward to seeing this partnership develop and the impact we know it will have on young people participating in the project.

“That it’s a three-year commitment to young people demonstrates the value both partners have put on this relationship, and a huge thanks to the team at Findel for putting these opportunities together. We are looking forward to working with you.”

Set up by former Leeds United, Manchester United and England footballer Rio Ferdinand in 2012, his Foundation addresses issues of inequality that Rio had experienced in his own life, growing up in Peckham, South London.

Supporting and empowering young people from working class communities, tackling racism and inequality and providing opportunities and pathways to deliver social mobility and realise personal potential were, and remain, the cornerstones of the Foundation’s work.

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