Employment, Skills and Education

One of The Initiative’s main goals is to improve opportunities for young people throughout the region.

In our Bristol 2050 vision we explored the urban village school model put forward by the visionary educationalist James Wetz. The model advocated for smaller classes and one-to-one mentoring in order to improve teacher-pupil relationships which would produce significant benefits to young people. As a result, we support a number of projects, including Learning Partnership West, which give young people better and alternative education opportunities.


The aim of MentorMe is to reduce the risk of re-offending by helping ex-offenders to re-integrate into their local economy. The Initiative supports MentorMe which through trained volunteers, driven by their faith, offers friendship, hospitality, encouragement, support, care and a patient listening ear to those leaving prison or who have done so already and who wish to make a positive change to their lives.

What can you do?

Train as a volunteer

Support the MentorMe project financially

If you or your church would like to know more about the project, do get in touch with:

sandra@mentormeuk.org 01275 370785
alison@mentormeuk.org 01275 370892

My Future My Choice

Bristol businesses are coordinated by the The Bristol Initiative Trust to sponsor and supply volunteers for exciting education projects run by the agency My Future My Choice. These programmes appeal to schools because they relate to Bristol’s heritage and to the children’s future. They offer experiences with people and places the children might not normally have and they engage the parents and community in the opportunities for children’s future success and happiness .

One such project is Learning Ships. This project helps business and industry volunteers work with local schools, helping young people to celebrate and communicate their passion for learning. Learning Ships helps young people experience their heritage and introduces children to the vast range of exciting opportunities available for their future through interacting with parts of their local environment that saw dramatic changes in the past and that are facing dramatic changes in the future.


Initially a reading and numeracy project which links businesses to schools to give students one-to-one help, Ablaze now also helps with the governance of schools. Ablaze is a charity driven by businesses in the Bristol area that aims to develop sustainable partnerships between businesses and schools. Through core and bespoke programmes Ablaze provides structured volunteering opportunities to raise aspiration, attainment and achievement in young people from disadvantaged areas.

Be On Board

Despite the business case for diversity at board level, companies in the UK are yet to capitalise on the competitive advantage that it brings. This is highlighted in the Parker Review into the Ethnic Diversity of UK Boards in 2016, which called the attention to the disproportionately low representation of UK citizen directors of colour across the FTSE 100. The review noted the significant need for corporate Britain to reflect the society it represents. It is on this basis that the programme, Be On Board, has been developed to help companies diversify in a way that supports growth and financial prosperity for shareholders and the UK economy as a whole.

BeOnBoard has launched a new survey ‘Embracing Board Diversity for Improved Business Outcomes’ - click here to complete it.

Mental Health in the workplace

Business West is working closely with local organisations to raise awareness of the important issue of mental health in the workplace and offer information and advice to businesses. For information on on local hubs and programmes for businesses and to read further articles below from our expert contributors, to help guide employers and raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, please visit our mental health hub.