Drive Forward Foundation

More than 70,000 young people are in care in the UK, with 2,000 leaving the system embarking into independence each year in London. Drive Forward Foundation provides personal support to these care-experienced young people, who are at higher risk of homelessness, criminal behaviour and teenage pregnancy.

Over the past 8 years, Drive Forward helped over 2,000 care leavers to develop the skills and confidence to move into work, education or training—with 600 supported into a sustainable career of their choice. Drive Forward’s Employment Consultants provide a tailored 1-2-1 support, whilst training sessions focus on employability and personal development. Strong corporate partnerships across a range of industries allow them to offer exclusive employment opportunities and volunteer support. A bespoke mentoring programme further provides in-work support for individuals embarking on their career.

Activities include weekly lunch clubs, where young people can socialise, apply for jobs and prepare for interviews; Industry Insight Days to explore new career paths; ‘HR-Speed- Dating’ sessions involving mock interviews with instant feedback; and forum theatre, allowing participants to practice real-life situations in a safe environment.

"Drive Forward has helped 2,000 care leavers to develop the skills and confidence to move into work, education or training"

Around half of the people Drive Forward supports are initially not prepared for work and require more in-depth support. Out of those who are ready to take up opportunities, over 50% transition into sustainable employment; an increase of 5% from 2017 as a direct result of significant organisational changes including more personalised support. Drive Forward regularly collect feedback from clients, volunteers, employers, and a group of 15-20 Ambassadors who have progressed through Drive Forward, sustained employment and are progressing in their careers.

High session attendance (81%), combined with positive feedback and fantastic support from the Ambassadors Group, enable Drive Forward to continuously review, adapt and improve their services, ultimately helping more young people to achieve the self-worth and purpose gained from meaningful employment.