About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: May 2011
Based: London
Website: www.goodall-foundation.org.uk/spark-mettle/
Category: Employment and Jobs

Spark and Mettle is a charity that uses coaching, technology and collaborative events to help build the character strengths, soft skills and networks young people need to succeed in work and life.

Educator Eugenie Teasley created Spark and Mettle in May 2011. It started out as a year-long programme, with 13 young people supported by mentors to develop their soft skills, such as collaboration and time management. The name originated from the saying that participants needed to have “spark and mettle” to succeed.

After the initial pilot, the organisation secured funding to develop the service into a robust, online coaching platform. Spark and Mettle now leads projects such as Discoverables, a website which has helped over 1,000 young people identify, develop and showcase their strengths and skills to potential employers.

The organisation also collaborates with charities like Prince's Trust to run hack days, where young people are given the chance to work with companies on real business briefs and help propose solutions.

In the future, Spark and Mettle plans to work with other charities to build their technology and coaching approach into programmes. By getting their resources out to others, the team hope to extend their reach and, ultimately, support more young people.