Our university internship programme this Summer was a huge success. During two working weeks of exciting tasks, projects, and guest talks, we enjoyed nurturing the talents of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) students and taking on board their insights.
The programme, developed collaboratively with Kenny Waste Management Social Enterprise Ltd, Driving Change, was designed to give students invaluable experience in the world of work. We were impressed by the output of all those taking part, which inspired us to explore how we could continue to tap into a young adult’s viewpoint all year round.
Driven by the core values of Driving Change (Inclusion, Trust, and Growth) we decided to create a Non-Executive Director role to support the board in delivery of our mission. We offered the role to Lydia Oldroyd, law student at MMU and intern on our programme, based on the incredible potential we saw in her.
Since accepting the role, Lydia has been looking closely into the governance of Driving Change, our social enterprise, spending time listening to programme beneficiaries and gathering fresh insights to ensure our signature programmes deliver the right outcomes for people in challenging circumstances.
We look forward to working closely with Lydia as we continue to develop Driving Change’s three signature programmes, Turning Points, Evolving Horizons, and Operation Basecamp, which are designed to tackle the barriers that keep people from gaining meaningful employment. Her fresh perspective will enable us to tailor our activity and broader strategy to address the key issues that are affecting people right now.
Taking on a non-executive director also means welcoming a greater degree of internal scrutiny for our social enterprise. By sitting in on the decision-making process, Lydia will challenge our assumptions and continuously provide the business with vital insights that come from real lived experience.
Lydia told us:
“I participated in a social mobility programme myself, which changed the course of my adult life, so it has been really rewarding to help put all of this together. Being from a different generation, having a different background, my purpose here is to challenge assumptions that can influence decisions at the executive level.
Kenny Waste Management’s internship programme was a valuable experience, and I’m glad to offer my time and perspective in this new role. Young people, especially those who doubt they have anything to offer, should understand that they have a wealth of experiences that others can benefit from.”
We are excited to see Lydia’s input produce outcomes with long-term impact. Eventually, Lydia wants to mentor a successor, keeping the role fresh and contemporary to the experiences of those who face personal hardships as they take the first steps on their work journey.