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  • Writer's pictureCharity Chat Podcast

E167 - Offering Young People A Brighter Future With Diane Vernon

“Very often, an issue that I might think is relatively minor… it can be the end of the world for them… they may perceive it as an absolute show stopper barrier to doing something - taking a first step, applying for a job, even the smallest thing can be stopped dead in its tracks by one wrong comment on social media, and I think that we are at risk of sometimes underestimating the impact of that.” – Diane Vernon speaking about the young people she works with

In this episode I speak with Diane Vernon, Founder and Chief Executive of Employability UK.

1. The negative impact of social media on young people

The environment may have changed since we were classed as young people, but the types of challenges have not. It seems that in some cases there is an increase in competition and expectation on young people.

Social media may be part of this, and can have a negative impact on young people, especially those who are vulnerable or who come from more chaotic backgrounds or with certain life-experiences. Diane said that it can have an enormous impact on their frame of mind, their approach, their self-belief.

We're sure that many of us can empathise with that. And we have probably all seen the evidence that suggests that we should all be seeking wellbeing practices that ration our use of social media.

2. Helping others feels good

The pandemic has caused an increase in interest in volunteering among Employability UK's supporters. And Diane offered some very good advice regarding volunteering and the power for good that this has both for beneficiaries and for volunteers. I have seen and experienced how volunteering and doing things for others can help my low mood. And in our society today, where there seems to be so much stress and anxiety perhaps one antidote that we can all take is giving a little more to support our fellow humans. As Diane said this can even be in the form of a smile or a compliment.

We loved this quote from Diane - “…it’s that spark of the inspiration that you can get from a young person that can really ignite your own dreams, and think I’m really loving this…people have actually changed the course of their own career as a result of volunteering with us, which I think is absolutely amazing.”

3. Pressure from job seekers on companies to show their social values

It was interesting to hear from Diane that a company’s social values are among the criteria that job seekers are increasingly looking at. This is another good reason why those of us working in charities should be championing supportive and inclusive organisational practices. And gives us some hope that as a society we may be moving closer to more wholesome working environments.

This episode of Charity Chat has been brought to you by our platinum sponsor, fundraising platform Work for Good and the festive Small Business Star match funding campaign. This year there is a £50,000 match funding pot available. Head to to sign-up for free!

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E125 - The Route To CEO Of UK Youth With Ndidi Okezie OBE -

E102: Social Mobility with Paul Evans -

E57: Strategic Partnerships with Jo Taylor -


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