Cornerstone joins Rio Ferdinand Foundation and partners to inspire Oldham’s next generation

5 minute read

As an Oldham agency born and bred, we were delighted to recently partner with The Rio Ferdinand Foundation (RFF) Oldham Enterprise Trust (OET) and Oldham Opportunity Area at an event designed to boost the aspirations and career prospects of young people from high schools across the borough.

Building on its existing work in Oldham, RFF and OET organised the Enterprise Day with event partner Oldham College, which provide the venue and catering for free.

It brought together local businesses and business leaders as part of a new initiative to help inspire, educate and connect young people through entrepreneurialism and enterprise skills.

Around 80 students from eight local schools including Waterhead Academy, The Blue Coat School, The Radclyffe School, North Chadderton School and Coop Academy Failsworth attended the careers event which featured interactive sessions, skills workshops and inspirational speakers from the Oldham community.

Keen to inspire, invest in and increase opportunities for the young people on our doorstep we were thrilled to be invited to take part, particularly considering the motivational and humble origins of our agency.

Fresh out of Huddersfield University with a degree in marketing, founder, managing director and Oldhamer David Wadsworth didn’t let his inexperience get in the way of his burning desire to launch his own agency.

In 2007 he laid those first foundations of Cornerstone – and all from his parent’s attic in Clarksfield, Oldham!

Fourteen years and several moves later we now occupy an impressive in-house designed and built office space in Acorn Street, Lees, employing a 22-strong team across strategic marketing, public relations, digital marketing, design, web development and print production and now have an annual turnover of over £1m.

Alongside highlighting David’s story of entrepreneurialism and determination to succeed, our ‘communication’ themed activity workshop at the enterprise event was delivered by PR manager Gill Potts and our 18-year-old digital marketing apprentice Madeline Thorp.

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Madeline engaged students with her first-hand experience of gaining an apprenticeship and offered insightful advice on work experience, job applications and interviews.

“Gill and I delivered a workshop on behalf of Cornerstone DM that revolved around the theme of communication,” said Madeline.

“I spoke to the students about how to communicate to potential employers through CVs and interviews, and how there are other routes into the workplace aside from university.

“Inspiring more young people into work is something very important to me as an apprentice, and it was a pleasure to be able to talk to young people like myself about a more unconventional pathway into the workplace and how to actually secure an apprenticeship.

“The students really engaged with our workshop and activities, which was great to see.”

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David added: “It was fantastic to be invited to work with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to help inspire, encourage and guide our borough’s future workforce.

“Finding insights, mentorship and guidance from industry experts has been critical to my own success with Cornerstone, so it’s a great pleasure to be able to take part and support our community’s leaders and managers of tomorrow in achieving their path to success.

“The event was extremely well organised and well received by attendees, and it’s excellent to see this work taking place in our town.”

Victoria Lowe, RFF programme manager North West said: “The event was a huge success, our businesses and young entrepreneurs really inspired the young people who took part in their talks and enterprising activities.

“The young people learnt about communication, teamwork, resilience and problem-solving, as well as top tips and career guidance from our professionals, like Cornerstone.

“Everyone got stuck into the different workshops and young people created films to share their own enterprising ideas for Oldham.

“RFF would like to say a huge thank you to our partners Oldham Enterprise Trust, Youth Enterprise Network Oldham, Oldham College and our businesses for all of their support in this collaboration.”

The career opportunity programme is offering weekly sessions throughout this year with opportunities for local businesses, education practitioners and members of the community to get involved. If you want to support young people to tackle inequality and drive social change in your area visit the website Support our work — Rio Ferdinand Foundation or contact the Programme Manager, Victoria Lowe, on 0161 743 3779.

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(Photo credit: Les Howarth, Real Time Images)

By Gillian, PR Manager

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Gill has been a journalist for way longer than she cares – or dares to remember. Formerly a news reporter, feature writer and beauty columnist working for newspapers across Greater Manchester, the switch flicked, the light came on and she headed straight for PR. Gill works across a number of sectors including health, pharma, leisure […]

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