As part of our corporate social responsibility, every year we commit to completing work on at least one pro bono project. This is a great opportunity for us to work with charities or community projects and give them the digital support they need. This year we are delighted to be working with the One Mile Project in Manchester.
One Mile Project is run by Manchester-based training provider The Apprentice Academy. They deliver a range of apprenticeships, qualifications and additional services to support employers with all their talent planning, succession and workforce development needs, from trainee right up to director level. As people who are passionate about Manchester and its young people, they chose to start the One Mile Project, in order to connect local businesses with young people within the communities they operate, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. In fact, the first One Mile Project took place in Ardwick, the location of our Manchester office!
Our previous pro bono work has included supporting funds being raised for slums in Kenya, helping a young boy raise enough money for a custom prosthetic leg after losing his to cancer and helping establish the ICON awards, which celebrates the thriving LGBTIQ community across Scotland, as well as many more interesting projects. The One Mile Project, however, is something different again and very exciting! With our very own MD, David, being heavily involved in organisations that aim to benefit young people across the UK (EY Foundation, BIMA Young Talent Council and a founding member of the Scottish Talent Programme), we felt this was a perfect collaboration.
One Mile Project specialises in creating and delivering social responsibility schemes. Working in collaboration with partners/sponsors, they create, deliver and share branded projects which enable partners to make a positive difference at a local level, connecting them with young people and their communities. Their mission is to provide grassroots opportunities, discovering talent in inner-city areas, providing a pathway for young people who struggle in the classroom or face financial barriers. The overall aim of their project, in terms of their partners, is to connect them with communities and build their brand through CSR. When it comes to young people, they want to provide opportunities for them to shine outside of the classroom and to discover and develop future talent, creating ideal job candidates and community role models.
This project has come at a great time as the proposed Mayfield Regeneration Framework document for Manchester was put out to public opinion in February this year. The Mayfield regeneration promises to have a positive impact on the surrounding areas anchored to Mayfield Park, including Ardwick. The aim of this project is to “create a series of significant regeneration benefits to help drive economic growth and initiate transformational change for East Manchester” resulting in “a world-class, transformational, distinctive and imaginative commercially led neighbourhood, anchored by Mayfield Park, which will become a powerhouse of socio-economic productivity.”
This regeneration will create 10,000 new jobs, 154,800 sq.m. GEA of office space, two new hotels, increased public transport connectivity and 1,500 new homes. All in all, Mayfield Park and its surrounding area should be about to go through some interesting developments, creating a highly desirable environment both for tourism and business, making this the perfect environment for the inner-city Mancunian youth to take advantage of this project.
Speaking about After Digital’s involvement with One Mile Project, its founder Jim Clark said:
“From first staring, we’ve developed to help 150 young people and passionate about growing the number of young people we engage. Our digital strategy is key to promoting the projects and attracting new sponsors. For us, it is really important to work with a partner who cares about what we are doing and After Digital definitely does. I think this comes from their MD, David, who grew up in an inner-city area himself, understanding the challenges these young people face. With their offices being in the very modern Universal Square in Ardwick, I’m sure they realise that areas like Ardwick are a place with a lot of young people need that opportunity to shine.”
We’re looking forward to starting our work with One Mile Project and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on its progress along the way!