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Social workers help young people connect with services


A new small business that helps public sector bodies and charities engage with disadvantaged young people is being given a cash boost by the University of Bradford (Thursday 27 April 2006).

The University’s graduate enterprise unit, Think Business@Bradford, will award £1,000 in cash and support to ‘Maximum Impact’ – a new company that aims to help charities and public sector bodies (such as social services, education, health and the probation service) communicate more effectively and meet the needs of disadvantaged young people.

Maximum Impact was set up in January this year as a new business start up by Tom Almas, who is currently studying for a Social Work degree at the University of Bradford. He was supported by Chrystal Causer, who has over 10 years of experience in social work.

The two met whilst working for Bradford Social Services where they discovered they had similar backgrounds in design, marketing and business.

Tom explains: “The idea to form Maximum Impact came from my frustrations about the lack of ability that public sector bodies and charities have to engage young people in the services they provide.

“Firstly, we talk to the young people and find out what they want and what they need. We then feed this information back to the service providers in a language they understand.

“We provide the solution in the form of specialised resources, training and consultancy. The benefits for the organisations are that they meet their statutory obligations and the benefits for the young people are they feel listened to and are able to engage with service providers.”

The award from Think Business@Bradford comes after Maximum Impact was shortlisted as Bradford’s entry at the ‘Winner of Winners’ business concept competition at Sheffield Hallam University last month. This scheme brought together start up businesses from each of the 10 Yorkshire universities.

Teresa Hull, Incubation Manager from Think Business@Bradford, said: “Tom and Chrystal impressed us when we were considering which business idea to submit for the regional competition in Sheffield.

“Their experience supported their novel idea, and their ambition and commitment shone through. It made the judging decision an easy one and we knew we were onto a winner.

“We wish them the best of luck for the future and we hope this extra financial support will spur them on to great things.”

Maximum Impact was awarded its first contract in February by a supported accommodation provider to homeless young people.

Emma Banks | alfa
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