Project wants directors with passion for inspiring young

By Barrie Hudson - 17 November 2021

BusinessSocial EnterpriseEducationCommunity
  • Platform Project founder Sadie Sharp and Chairman James Phipps

    Platform Project founder Sadie Sharp and Chairman James Phipps

New non-executive directors are being sought to support The Platform Project and join its board.

The project aims to help more young people in Swindon who are at risk of unemployment. 

Based in the Dorcan area of Swindon, the community interest company (CIC) is seeking hands-on professionals and business owners with a passion for inspiring and empowering young people. 

The current board is run by local leaders, business owners and professionals, who use their skills, experience and contacts to help manage the organisation's rapid growth and ensure that governance processes are followed appropriately. 

Sadie Sharp, founder of The Platform Project, said: “We are looking for two or three non-executive volunteer directors to join us and support our mission to reduce the number of young people who are not in the workplace.

“Having been a management consultant before launching The Platform Project I’ve worked with a lot of boards and c-suite professionals and I am privileged to say that ours is one of the most functional, supportive and friendly boards that I’ve ever worked with! Their help and input have been critical to our success.”

The Platform Project’s new directors will be expected to be hands-on for about two half days a month and ideally come from an education, business or enterprise background.

Current directors include Chairman James Phipps, a philanthropic local entrepreneur and former chairman and CEO of Excalibur; Jon Joyce, director of Metro Bank, Swindon; Andy Langley, CEO of tech firm Ntegra and employment law solicitor Cerys Ashley of Baker Ashley, South Wales. 

Each incumbent has three-year tenure, and vacancies are now available due to the project's expansion and following the resignation of former director Andrew Wells of Swindon Borough Council due to a job change.

Chairman James Phipps said: “It’s great to be able to work with a non-profit that’s making such an incredible difference in the lives of local young people. The board has a really strong commercially strategic mix of skills and it’s great to see how we’ve directly been able to influence and support the strategic direction of the project to help to achieve its ambitious growth goals.”

Now in its fifth year, the Swindon social enterprise bridges the gap between education and employment by preparing young people for work. It works with a range of funders, schools and employers to support target groups of young people.

The organisation also has a strong commercial element. The team works with a number of different schools to diversify curricula, and with employers to help them find work-ready, entry-level talent.

“We’ve grown so quickly since we started four years ago,” said Sadie Sharp. “Our big picture, long-term goal is to see if we can build our model into a social franchise, repeating our successful approach in other geographical areas. 

“We are getting there one step at a time, but we would love to hear from you if you think you can help us get there a little bit quicker.”

The team are particularly interested in people who can offer support around finance, marketing, strategy, education and local authority commissioning, and are committed to developing a diverse board, so welcome applications from a wide range of backgrounds.

Further information can be found at and interest must be registered by 5pm on Friday, 26 November.

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