You Make It

You Make It

At a glance


  • Black, asian and minority ethnic groups
  • Community safety / victim support / domestic violence
  • Counselling / advice
  • Financial inclusion
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Local / community
  • Mental health
  • Training / employment support
  • Women
  • Young people

Other details

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YMI is a young, dynamic and evolving charity, which runs a comprehensive 6-month long holistic programme, empowering 50 unemployed women from East London a year with the key skills, networks and experiences needed to thrive.

YMI has continued to grow rapidly since its formation in 2011, generating incredible support from a range of funders such as the Big Lottery Fund and Department of Work and Pensions, with increasing support as we develop. With high rates of both hard and soft outcomes, our participants graduate having had the support of a mentor, wide-ranging skills sessions focused on career and personal growth, hands on projects that inspire and unlock enterprise potential as well as short work placements, all geared to improve their life chances.

Our retention rate on programmes is over 90% and 82% of our graduates to date are now in paid employment, working on their own start up ideas or are in formal education.

Take a look at this short film about some of our March 2017 graduates to get a sense of our impact:


We run a 6 month long programme to empower young, marginalised unemployed BAME women. Through it they gain the confidence, networks, skills, knowledge and experiences needed to break out of poverty into financially independent lives, which also reflect greater integration with the social and cultural life of their city. We do this through delivery of back-to-back structured programmes which include innovative workshops, mentoring, work placements, business start up projects and graduation events. We work at a local community level and our connectedness brings the women to inspiring places, people and experiences that they'd typically find hard to access. We take a holistic approach that is reflected in workshop content. Going beyond solely providing learning across traditional CV writing, interview tips and business start up steps, our programme includes support for women to self-reflect on their passions, attributes, values and back stories (which demonstrate incredible resilience and maturity in many ways) and encourages them to use this knowledge to create and realise a meaningful vision of their future.

The programme is structured as follows:

*6 months of 1-1 mentoring with networked and nurturing professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds and sectors;

*12 half-day weekly workshops whereby women access exciting, creative, cultural venues in the City. Sessions create strong peer support and a professional network for women. Each one is facilitated by someone different who precedes teaching with 'My Story' slots, detailing what they've done to get to where they are and creating an attitude of "If they can, I can" amongst women;

*2-4 week long expenses or fully paid work placements with high brand value organisations (e.g. Barbican, Royal Society of Arts to name just a couple) to build CV experience and make participants attractive to future employers;
*Start up experience with Trading Places, a market stalls project for women who make crafts to test them out with the public, and to practice start up and employment relevant skills with their peers at Old Spitalfields;

*Ladies' Den for enterprising women to pitch start-up ideas to a panel of experts in order to win 6 months of business coaching and other support; and

*Graduation at a cultural venue

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