ABOUT Wayne Cockram

 

I would describe myself as an ethical business owner, I’m really passionate about helping young people succeed in life. As a young man I had a very supportive family, both my parents were in work and there for me if I needed them. I never went hungry or really needed for anything. It wasn’t until spending time in Sierra Leone as a young solider, I really got to see just how lucky I was. This really opened my eyes to how some young people are not given the same opportunities as others and in some cases were really suffering.

Two years later I left the Army and trained as a personal trainer and sports coach, within a few months I had a thriving business working in local schools, clubs and doing personal training.  I loved coaching young people, but I was aware of the same issues of some young people not being given an opportunity to succeed. After encountering a number of pupils that were really struggling I worked with South Glos council and the schools to set up provision that could help these young people through there difficult situation. It was a great success and I was offered a full time Job for the council delivering mentoring and helping to train new mentors.

This was a very happy time for me and I worked at the council for over ten years, I ran projects that gained national attention and had proven track record of improving literacy and numeracy for hundreds of young people. I had great successes with young people that most organisations had given up on and even started working in a young offender’s prison, teaching rugby to young people and helping them gain access to their local clubs when they were out.

 The council is a great place to work but the constant budget constraints and cuts kept hindering projects that I ran and left very vulnerable children without support. At this time, I was approached by a large private company who wanted me to train and develop their staff. I recruited and trained over 20 members of staff for them and help them into new markets. It became clear that their ethical view point and my morals were not in line as they valued profit over the needs of the young people.

In 2014 I started my own business called Impact Mentoring with the sole aim to help as many young people reengage with education as possible. With in 6 months we had 6 employees and had helped numerous young people back into education. One year on we had 15 employees and were working in north Somerset as well as Bristol and South Glos. 3 years on Impact Mentoring has over 70 employees and works with some on the south west most vulnerable children. We are now the largest and most highly regarded mentoring company in the South West.

In 2017 I won the Natwest Entrepreneur For Good Award and Impact won the Social Care Awards Best Youth Mentoring Project. I’ve since set up another business coaching young people sport in schools the aim of this is to train the young people who are moving on impact as sports coaches and then give them employment as sports coaches. Both of these businesses have social purpose and are profitable and sustainable.

Setting up a charity to help the young people has always been an ambition for me. Coming together with these great bunch of trusties has allowed me to achieve this goal and I am excited about making it a success.