What a year it’s been. The COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and the George Floyd killing that sent shockwaves around the world, have exposed a lot of inequalities. Yet despite a challenging year, there’s been real opportunities for positive change.
Open Palm has seized that opportunity and is committed to creating an equal start line. Our main aims are to make education more accessible and to promote racial equality. We achieve this through three key initiatives – by creating positive narratives for Ethnic Minorities through Project Enlighten, offering life-skills education to under 18s through WYZ, and by supporting under-funded schools and students through Project Spark.
We looked back on our journey over the past year and reflected on some key achievements:
We also heard from some of the amazing young people we have worked with plus some fantastic volunteers. There were inspirational segments along the way showcasing ordinary people choosing to thrive, no matter the circumstance.
It was great to hear from fellow volunteers and learn what motivates them to support Open Palm. We saw people of diverse backgrounds and walks of life coming together to support a mission.
Linking to our WYZ programmes, we also heard from a team of lawyers in the Banking sector who kindly supported us by sharing some key life-skills they’ve learnt along the way or wish they knew when they were younger.
We’re all about uplifting and empowering young people to succeed, no matter the circumstances. Yes it’s been a tough year but the future is bright!
We reached out to some inspiring people who shared how they succeeded in difficult times - from completing the final year of university during lockdown to overcoming career setbacks.
Our plans for the future
We also looked at Open Palm’s plans for the future:
Celebrating achievement of our young people
We are so proud of all participants who join our WYZ courses. It’s important to recognise the efforts of all of our young people in what was a challenging school year.
Huge congratulations to every single person who has taken a WYZ course. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re thrilled that so many young people feel more confident about the topics taught.
WYZ Certificate of Excellence
We announced the participant of our WYZ Certificate of Excellence. This is awarded to a participant who has gone above and beyond, been super proactive, showed commitment to their learning and demonstrated an overall role model attitude.
The recipient of the 2021 WYZ Certificate of Excellence was Jacori! Huge congratulations.
Recognising our fundraisers
What we do would not be possible without the important work of our fundraisers. Whilst 100% of people working with us, including our Trustees, generously donate their time for free, we still have operating costs.
We are committed to keeping our WYZ courses completely free of charge for participants and parents. Fundraising helps us to continue to offer our courses for free and also helps us to meet operating costs involved in running all of our initiatives.
It’s important to recognise the vital and great work of our fundraisers, who have helped to raise thousands of pounds to fund our work. A huge heartfelt thank you on behalf of Open Palm and the young people we work with!
We recognised Paul Watson, who made an outstanding contribution to fundraising. Paul ran the Dorney Lake and New Forest marathons within 3 weeks of each other during lockdown and raised £1241.25 to support our work.
We are hugely grateful to Paul and all of our amazing fundraisers.
A huge team effort
Open Palm’s work would not be possible without the support of so many people – from volunteers, to partners, advisors, fundraisers and donors, and to every single person who has helped to raise awareness. We cannot thank you enough.
If you want to register for any of our courses, you can do so here. Our courses cover financial literacy and employability. The courses are online, offer an accreditation and are completely free.
Staying connected and volunteering
We’re always looking for more volunteers, so if you’re interested in lending your skills to help our mission, please contact us.
Catching up on our anniversary event
If you'd like to watch our event in full and hear from some of the amazing young people we serve, please click below.
As we look ahead to the next year and beyond, we continue with our mission to reach as many young people and improve as many lives as possible. We look forward to the future!