As the Founder and Innovation Lead of Empower - Be The Change, my mission is to create a dynamic company that empowers people through positive change.
In 2013 after working in the public sector for 10 years in a senior role at Sports Wales, I took a 12 month sabbatical to try something completely different.
I wanted to experience a different culture, a different environment, test my skills in other sectors and re-evaluate what I wanted to do. I took this opportunity to empower myself and follow a path that is right for me.
I firmly believe that individuals who are empowered to improve their lives, not only bring out the best in themselves but also the communities in which they live and work.
Initially volunteering in India with a major volunteer company I quickly learnt two important things
It is clear that empowered individuals not only improve their lives, but also the communities in which they live and work.
Jo Clay, Founder & Innovation Lead
Empower was founded by Jo Clay following 18 months work in collaboration with Vi-Ability setting up, delivering and managing the very successful "India Adventure" international volunteer program.
The program supported 16 young people from the UK to take up month long volunteer placements with Silo India. Volunteers delivered a range of community projects and received weekly 1-1 coaching sessions focused on long term career and education goals.
On their return to the UK all 16 volunteers successfully secured employment and or education placements.
The success of the "India Adventure" program demonstrates that volunteering, as a catalyst for
wider personal development, makes a significant and lasting difference to the individual.
Thanks to a micro-investment from Vi-Ability Jo was able to build on this success and create a new social enterprise that places soft skill training and high quality mentoring at the centre of personal change.
On 6th May 2019 Empower - Be The Change will be celebrating its 3 year anniversary.
The company has grown exponentially during this time. From empowering 35 people in year one with an income of £17,000 to empowering 125 people in year three with an annual income of £125,000.
YEAR FOUR AND BEYOND
This year we aim to empower over 200 people through the delivery of our programmes across North Wales. We will continue to build strong relationships with Remploy, DWP, Glyndwr University and St Christophers School and create new partnerships with community, voluntary and corporate organisations.
One of our primary missions is to eradicate poverty of opportunity. We aim to tackle this by delivering programmes in some of the more rurally isolated areas in the region. To further increase access a number of our programmes will also be delivered through the medium of welsh. Check out our course dates and locations for full details.
To build on the success of our current programmes new courses will be written and developed which empower leaders and managers to better support individuals, colleagues, peers and teams to maintain positive mental health, both in and out of work. Sign up to our newsletter to find out more.
In partnership with Mantell Gwynedd (Social Value Cymru) and as part of the North Wales Measuring Social Value programme we will be measuring our key outcomes and using robust data to report the social value of our programmes. Full details will be reported on the website on our new 'impact' page.
In addition, we will be creating a new website and increasing our online presence through the execution of a marketing content strategy aligned to our overall ambition of Empowering 1500 people by 2023.
We look forward to enabling more individuals to achieve their goals and hope you will join us on this exciting journey!
Jo, Dawn and Rhiannon