Skills for life

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The Peter Jones Foundation’s mission is to improve the socio-economic outcomes for young people by equipping them with enterprise skills that will improve their life chances, whatever path they choose. Our partnership with the Malvern Business Academy facilitates transformational outcomes for the most disadvantaged young people in Worcestershire.
Be Your Own Boss engages vulnerable young adults onto the 14-week Peter Jones Foundation level 2 BTEC in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, most of whom are homeless or care leavers, whom ‘the system’ no longer supports. In their quest, against all odds, to find meaning and positivity in their lives and fulfil their potential, BYOB students are supported to make choices which will move them from dependency on benefits and social housing into employment, self-employment or further education. Students gain a qualification, alongside hands-on, practical business experience. Integrating into the local business network, Be Your Own Boss connects students with the world of work and enterprise for the first time, empowering them to secure their own future.
“If you want to do something, just do it. No-one else is in control of your life – you are”
BYOB graduate 2016.

Since being launched in 2016, the pilot programme Be Your Own Boss has graduated 17 homeless or vulnerable young people in Worcestershire. The Peter Jones Foundation Level 2 BTEC in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship engages young people over 14 weeks, to help them identify their strengths, work through their challenges and barriers, gaining confidence and self-belief. Our graduates are empowered to step into financial independence.

“Each of us has a different life behind us and ahead of us, but we all have to find a way of earning a living”. Beryl Cuckney, BYOB Tutor, Malvern Business Academy, 2016.

Delivery of a 14-week BYOB programme costs £20,000. Set up in 2016 by a local entrepreneur Beryl Cuckney, keen to make a positive impact on this forgotten yet crucial audience in her local area, we now wish to refine and develop this programme to ensure its sustainability. We aim to prove a positive impact model that can be replicated in other deprived regions of the UK.

With £25,000 we could empower ten new students to independence, create more effective, quality and relevant resources, track the long-term impact of the programme on graduates, and develop robust recruitment models to enable more young people in need to Be Their Own Boss.

Case studies:
22 year old, had left home at 11 and lived on the streets and in foster care. Had no qualifications nor secondary schooling. On the 3 month Be Your Own Boss programme, gained BTEC 2 Certificate with distinction, their first ever qualification. After the programme the young person chose to return to live at home with the family in another part of the UK and within 4 weeks had started a £16k fulltime job and part time college

19 year old with a turbulent upbringing including caring for a parent, suffering abuse and subsequently becoming homeless. Attended the programme in 2016 during difficult personal circumstances but nevertheless passed the BTEC 2 Certificate and moved on into full-time Care Work. Has since travelled to Africa for a 12 week ICS volunteer programme.

Project Video

Peter Jones Foundation

Moment of Pride

BYOB coordinator Beryl has given extensive time, passion and dedication to helping those less fortunate improve their own lives. We are proud to partner with Beryl, whose belief in people’s capacity for change with the right support and options, is transformational.

Location: Worcestershire, United Kingdom