Published: April 02, 2020
Published: April 02, 2020

Community Partnership Brings Stephen New Opportunities

Supporting each other, sticking together and being there for our communities are some things we should all make part of our lives. Nowadays, honoring these values is even more important than ever before. Stephen’s story is a great example of that and even though it happened back in summer 2019, projects like these are even more vital in the current situation.

Stephen Farrer from the UK learned about The Mix’s Together Project from his neighbor last summer. Not only did it give him confidence to take control of his life, but eventually led to a surprising conclusion!

Not Just Another Training Course

After Stephen heard about The Together Project, he decided to do some research online. What he discovered was that the project, organized by The Mix, one of the UK’s leading support services for young people, helps local youths to improve their skills, confidence, and aspirations. It couldn’t have come at a better time for him.

I was at a stage in my life where I was lost, not knowing what I wanted to do.

The project aims to provide people like Stephen with the tools they need to get jobs they’ll enjoy through personalized training, one-to-one coaching and The Mix’s very own Leadership for Life program. This program offers many options to young people to learn leadership skills. The project also empowers them to take the next step in their lives, both personal and practical, whether that is into employment or education and training.

Learning What Makes Young People Tick

What the program initially helped Stephen to do was to work out what skills he had and what made him tick. The project’s team then worked at matching him up with a career plan of action. Together, they spent time working on his confidence, CV and interview skills.

Armed with these new tools, Stephen then interviewed for an apprenticeship in a local firm last summer and he got it… Would you believe it? He is now a maintenance engineer apprentice for PPG!

We were looking for three apprentices in our engineering department, which we usually tend to do every year. It was only after offering the apprenticeship that we discovered he had come through The Together Project. The support gave Stephen the boost he needed to get the position.
Mike Walsh, former PPG site manager, now Refinish marketing manager in the UK and Ireland

Stephen, now as one of our team, assists with preventative and active maintenance for the engineering department.

PPG people are very friendly and supportive. If I don’t know something, they are only too happy to teach me. I never expected to be part of such a good team of engineers who feel like a second family to me.


A Project We Just Had to Get Involved In

The Mix is one of the UK’s leading support services for young people, supporting under-25s who are facing a number of personal challenges. Our relationship with the center goes back to 2018, when 40 volunteers descended upon them for one of our COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® projects in which the whole center was revitalized and made more welcoming. It came as no surprise, therefore, that when The Mix was working on launching The Together Project in 2018, we just knew we had to get on board. This has turned into a long-term cooperation through a community engagement grant.

Young People and Communities Building Their Future

There are currently 40 active participants in coaching, work experience and workshops. There is even a waiting list, and 20 young people are already in education, training or employment. Through to our work together over the past two years, The Mix has been able to extend their offering of services and dedicate a team to improving others’ lives.

This is about young people and communities building their future together.
Dave Hannah, operations director at The Mix

We are #PPGProud to be active patrons of the project, not just with funding, but by helping shape it too.

To achieve a story like Stephen’s in the first year is amazing and a credit to the Together team. We have been hugely enthused and inspired by this project and we’ve already committed to another year of funding.
Mike Walsh