Project information

OPERA #thrive UK campaign

Empowering disadvantaged young people to #thrive not just survive by providing practical and financial support to young people entering the workplace. We support disadvantaged young people to find, gain and stay in work for 12 months or more.

January 2018 - December 2020

Charity information: The OPERA Global Youth Foundation

The OPERA Global Youth Foundation logo
  • Need


    In the UK, there are nearly 2M disadvantaged young people who wake up to the prospect of unemployment. The trap of poverty, homelessness, abuse, crime, violence, vulnerability, low self esteem, shame, poor mental and physical health and wellbeing, self-harm, suicide, debt, gambling and addiction puts these young people at risk of being not just unemployed, but unemployable perpetuating childhood poverty into adulthood - a heavy cost both to the individual, employers and society.


    Youth unemployment is not inevitable.
    Our #thrive fund provides the financial support to a young person entering the workplace. Our donors also support young people through skills volunteering. The combination of practical and financial support gives a young person the best possible chance of success. Our impact measurement is, of the young people we support, how many go on to remain in work for 12 months. 86% of the young people we support go on to achieve that.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To empower young people to #thrive, not just survive.


    » Provide practical & financial support for 16-24 year olds from something as simple as a birth certificate or first months travel pass to tools/equip
    » Skills volunteering - recruiters who donate their time to support young people to develop work ready skills.
    » Development of a new employment pathway for young people through the recruitment industry.

    What success will look like

    Our impact measurement is the number of young people empowered to stay in work for at least 12 months,thereby increasing their chance of career and life success.

  • Impact


    A direct, measurable reduction in the number of disadvantaged young people facing unemployment.

    A scaleable model that we can build on and roll out across the recruitment industry to increase the number of young people we can support.

    86% of the young people we support to still be in work 12 months later.


    Ensuring the young people we support are safe.

    All of our staff and trustees have up to date full DBS checks.

    We are working in partnership with our first UK leading youth charity, The Prince's Trust to ensure that all safeguarding procedures and risk assessments are in place. The Trust identify those young people who, through their programmes are ready to transition into work - and we provide the practical and financial support for that young person to make it possible.


    We will produce a direct e-report to our core donors specific to this campaign and publish this on our website. We will also be producing an annual impact report which is distributed to all of our supporters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 #thrive UK awards 200 young people supported to find, gain and stay in work.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Regular individual payroll donors £24,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our #thrive awards are national. The young people we support are based across all regions. Our work supports disadvantaged 16-24 year olds across the UK.


    16-24 year olds facing significant barriers to employment. This includes; young carers, care leavers, young people with mental health and wellbeing issues, physical disabilities, specific learning difficulties, youth offenders, young single parents and refugees.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    OPERA is built, backed and funded exclusively by the recruitment industry and the individuals, teams and businesses who work in. Our sole purpose is the empowerment of young people through work. Our partnership model ensures we deliver the best possible outcomes for individual young people traditionally excluded from the workplace. Our relationships with recruiters - and their clients means we can create more opportunities for young people to have the best possible chance of success.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Darren Ryemill Founder & CEO Opus Professional Services Group

    Founding Patron and Trustee of OPERA, Darren and his entire senior team at Opus will be pledging to this campaign to kick start the campaign.

    Esther O'Callaghan OBE

    Founder CEO of OPERA, Esther is responsible for the overall delivery of the #thrive campaign and securing the pledges.

    Rosie Ellis OPERA UK Partnerships Manager

    To ensure the infrastructure, risk and operational capacity is covered, monitoring and reporting.

    Teri Etherington, OPERA Development Director

    Teri is responsible for securing online donations from individual supporters and delivering the press and campaign awareness for #thrive