Located near some of the most important business hubs in the world, Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership (THEBP) works with employers and schools to increase the social mobility and life chances of young people who face multiple disadvantages. It does this through bringing them together with volunteers from local employers, with the aim of building confidence and raising aspirations.
Since it was established in 1991, THEBP’s focus had been on delivering high-quality interventions in the borough of Tower Hamlets. However, in recent years, THEBP became keen to reach even more young people, and in 2014 the charity changed its articles to enable it to work beyond its original geographical remit.
THEBP sought support from Pilotlight because it wanted to look at how to manage the organisation’s growth in a sustainable way. It wanted to understand the opportunities expansion would create to diversify income streams, but also, with its name being so closely identified with Tower Hamlets, sought advice about the implications for its brand.
What we did
We worked with THEBP through Unlocking Insights, a programme we run in partnership with Barclays. THEBP was assigned a Pilotlighter team of six Vice Presidents from Barclays who worked with Director, Helen Sanson, over a period of fourteen weeks. Initially the team took time to get to know THEBP’s current offer and positioning. They conducted a competitor analysis and also interviewed the organisation’s internal and external stakeholders. This research enabled them to understand THEBP's strengths and opportunities for improvement. The team then went on to provide recommendations around four key areas: operations and relationships; training; programmes; and impact. The team also created a three-stage approach to growth for THEBP supported by a detailed implementation plan.
We can now move forwards with confidence knowing that our strategic plan has been rigorously and expertly constructed.
Director, Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership
The team clearly communicated the necessary business processes THEBP would need to adopt and also why they were so important. A key recommendation the team made was to refresh the charity’s brand and improve the way it works with corporate partners. As a result, THEBP now has a team of fully trained account managers and has overhauled its corporate communications. THEBP also undertook focused fundraising in order to redesign its website. As a result volunteers can now book interventions in real-time.
The Pilotlighters presented their recommendations in a way that was schematic and time bound and this made it achievable for the charity to implement. A year on, the report is still THEBP’s go-to document, and the Pilotlighters’ recommendations now constitute part of the charity’s strategic plan for 2019.
“Taking part in Unlocking Insights has been one of the most fruitful decisions I’ve made. It’s given me and my team a clear sense of direction, a structured plan of action and access to a crack team at Barclays who were an absolute joy to work with.”