Young people meet businesses at Opening Doors 2011 -

Young people meet businesses at Opening Doors 2011

Young people meet businesses at Opening Doors 2011

Opening Doors is an annual event aiming to bring businesses and young people together.  It’s a chance for organisations to share what it’s like working for them and gives the young people a chance to ask them questions and discuss options and routes into work with them.

Hosted yesterday at the Tottenham Hotspurs football ground I was there helping out as a volunteer.  Our friends over at Silver Skills are the brains behind the operation – they are passionate about helping young people to see that when it comes to work they really do have options!  Dayna in particular did a fantastic job at getting businesses involved, over 50 businesses turned up and and there were at least 1,000 young people who attended!

Dayna also managed to get MP Steven Twigg, Brian Paddick the Lib Dem candidate for London Mayor to give inspirational introductions, and the mayor of Harringay even popped in for a visit.

Simon Devereux from Channel 4 gave a number of really interesting seminars, although I think he underestimated how busy he’d be (I think he’ll be bringing more help next year!). And I met so many really interesting business people, the guys from Communicationid are doing amazing work with the deaf community.

As a business owner I’d never really thought about whether or not to employ a deaf person within my own company.  If I’d have been asked I would probably have thought it would be too difficult ‘“ how would they answer the phone for example?

However Ian and the team explained that there are some really workable solutions and they work with employers to show them how easy it can be.  And he also told me that you can apply for money from the government ‘“ and that’s something that doesn’t happen often!

It certainly made me think.

Taking a day away from my business is not always easy; however, showing young people that there are lots of options out there whether it’s going on to university,  doing an internship or apprenticeship, or maybe by giving them courage to start their own business is something I’m very passionate about.

I was really inspired by some of the young people I met and through the feedback we received I know that they got a lot out of the day.

So hats off to all you businesses out there trying to help and support others in some way, whether you’re working with disabled people, young people, start-ups or a micro business I think everything you do is wholly worthwhile.

I’d love to know what you’re up to so let me know if  you’re supporting businesses in some way too.

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