From education to employment

West London Charity Celebrates 20 years, supporting 9000 young people into work

2023 marks 20 years since Resurgo was founded in West London by Revd Tom Jackson MBE and Jo Rice, who had a vision to bring lasting change to young people experiencing poverty who were not able to access the opportunities that were available to them.

To date, 9,000 young people have been through the award-winning Spear Programme. This flagship initiative uses coaching to equip 16–24-year-olds facing barriers to employment with the skills and mindset they need to both find work, and thrive once they are there.

The Spear Programme was established to release the untapped potential of unemployed young people in London. Five trainees attended the first Spear programme, in Hammersmith. 20 years later, the Spear Programme now operates from 13 locations across the UK, with plans to expand further in the years ahead.

In Autumn 2022, the Department of Work and Pensions Data Lab independently evaluated the effectiveness of the Spear Programme, finding that it’s effective in reducing young people’s chance of being not in education, employment or training (NEET) by 20%.

Resurgo’s consultancy work provides coaching to organisations, including corporates, charities and churches, focusing on social impact, building team culture, navigating conflict and more. Income generated through our consultancy is reinvested in our charitable work, and ties in with the charity’s aim to mend the tears in our social fabric across all aspects of society.

Resurgo’s CEO and Co-Founder, Jo Rice, said:

“This is a significant milestone for Resurgo and I’m so proud of the phenomenally hard work that it represents. We believe that everyone has a part to play in mending the tears in our social fabric and we are grateful to all those who have made 20 years of life-changing work possible – our donors, corporate and church partners, corporate clients, volunteers and our team. Each one of the 9,000 young people who’ve been through the Spear Programme  has shown such courage and determination to change their lives. I’m also hugely inspired by the organisations we have equipped to have a meaningful social impact. I’m looking forward to the next 20 years as we expand further across the UK.”

CASE STUDY: Nicole’s Story 

“Home life was quite a struggle because my dad was an alcoholic, and I never really had friends in school. I never really had a place. I ended up developing severe depression; I felt so hopeless and worthless – I thought I’d never amount to anything.  A year into my A Levels I was sitting there thinking, ‘What is the point’. I attempted suicide in Year 12.

I sat in hospital for a few months and I dropped out of school while I was there. I had a phone call from Islington Council, who told me about the Spear Programme.

The coaches were really friendly and active, with lots of hands-on one-to-one experience. I gained a lot of self-esteem… and it opened me up to a whole new world of employment. During the interview week, I was successful in getting a job in telecoms.

After Spear I am actually a completely different person. I feel like what I say matters, and it’s not just an empty voice in a corridor. Spear is life-changing; it reminds you that you do have a place in the world and society – you’re not just on your own.”

Nicole is now working as an Apprentice Fibre Specialist with G.Network.

A film about the work of the charity is available to watch here.

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