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New partners join accountancy-led social mobility initiative

Author: ICAEW

Published: 28 Jun 2022

Sixteen professional services and environmental firms have been announced as the newest partners of social mobility initiative Rise.

Rise, which launched last year, was set up to teach life skills to young people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

The new partners will provide volunteers to support sessions and develop relationships with schools in their local communities. They are:

  • AAB
  • Albert Goodman
  • Atmo Technology
  • BPP
  • Crowe
  • Dixon Wilson
  • Duncan & Toplis
  • First Intuition
  • Harris+Co
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  • Kaplan
  • Lubbock Fine
  • Moore Kingston Smith
  • RSM UK
  • Saffery Champness
  • Wheelhouse Advisors.

In the course of this academic year, Rise will deliver 50 workshops to 3,000 pupils at schools across the UK. The workshops are delivered by educational charity the Talent Foundry.

With the help of the new partners, Rise hopes to have 6,000 pupils attend 100 workshops in 2022-23.

The initiative was established to help young people from low socio-economic backgrounds realise and raise their aspirations, by ensuring they have the skills required to succeed in life and work. It was launched by ICAEW, EY, KPMG, PwC, BDO and Grant Thornton in December 2021.

Sharon Spice, Director, Global Marketing, Brand and Belonging, ICAEW, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome our new partners to the Rise programme. Their contribution will make a real difference to young people, especially those who have had to play catch up on their studies after their education was impacted by the pandemic.

“Rise has already had a tangible impact on young people’s lives, so we are very pleased to extend the programme further and look forward to the positive difference all our new partners will make.”

ICAEW would be pleased to hear from other organisations that want to become Rise partners.


Notes to Editors:

Please see quotes from Rise’s new partners below.

Derek Mair, Partner, AAB:

“Our partnership with Rise is an excellent match for our commitment to diversity and inclusion. It’s important for our stakeholders to know we are actively supporting social mobility. Not only are we doing the right thing, we are also supporting and influencing the lives and careers of young people.”

Sophie Parkhouse FCA, Partner, Albert Goodman:

“We are fully engaged with the Rise initiative and cannot wait to collaborate with so many bright young persons and have a positive impact on their future journey.”

Pedro Nunes, Chief Financial Officer, Atmo Technology:

“Social mobility, together with equality and diversity, is fundamental for economic growth, a fairer workplace, and a more developed society. We are excited to contribute to Rise and their mission.”

Laura Beswick, Director of Apprenticeships, Accounting & Tax, BPP Professional Education:

“As a leading provider of professional education, we recognise the role we play in our communities and see the Rise initiative as a fantastic opportunity to raise the career aspirations of young people in partnership with employers and schools. We want everyone, regardless of their background, to have the opportunity to build their career through education and we’re looking forward to getting involved and making a positive impact.”

Tony White, Chief People Officer, Crowe:

“Like so many other firms across the professional services sector, at Crowe we are committed to creating opportunities for talented individuals to join and flourish in our profession. Our firmwide approach is to create a truly inclusive organisation and celebrate the benefits that diverse teams bring us, as a firm, and as individuals. With that in mind, we’re really excited to join Rise, a really inspiring programme that aims to support people in expanding their horizons and shining a light on the wide range of career opportunities available to them.”

Rachel Strother, Partner, Dixon Wilson:

“We believe in the importance of being able to provide all young people with the tools to succeed. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive firm and as part of this we want to be able to support and encourage children from all backgrounds.”

Heidi Thompson, HR Director, Duncan & Toplis:

“Talent doesn’t depend on your socio-economic background, but it’s an unfortunate fact that this often forms an invisible barrier when it comes to people’s careers. We’re delighted to be joining Rise to help people succeed.”

Kathy Walton, CEO, Kaplan:

“Kaplan’s guiding light is to make a difference to every learner and inspire them to succeed.  So we’re pleased to participate in the Rise initiative and work collaboratively to chip away at socio-economic barriers to your people’s careers chances. Our founder, Stanley Kaplan, was a trailblazing philanthropic businessman, whose vision, 80 years ago, was to open up the professions by making the benefits of professional education accessible. Opportunities should be there for all, not just those in fortunate locations and with advantaged backgrounds. Rise addresses this through its skills development work with schools. We're thrilled to support it.”

Robert Morley, Chief Operating Officer, Lubbock Fine:

“Lubbock Fine is very proud to be participating in the Rise programme as we are passionate about social mobility. Rise is making a very positive impact on the lives of young people, by equipping them with important life and work skills and inspiring them to rise above their expectations.”

Gareth John, Director, First Intuition:

“Engaging with young adults, raising career aspirations and facilitating employer engagement with schools are all fundamental to our mission and values. Programmes like Rise need to form an integrated part of how organisations relate to their local communities.”

Nichola Hawden, Partner, Harris+Co:

“As a firm, Harris+Co are committed to supporting our local community and being part of this programme will enable us to help young people to develop their careers, not only in accountancy, but in whatever they chose to pursue. By reaching out to schools and offering the support that youngsters need, will encourage them to raise their aspirations and develop their skills, strengths and personalities. In recent years, we have made significant investments in training, development and recruitment and currently have T-level, AAT, ATT, ACA and CTA students amongst our team and are always on the lookout for aspiring accountants.”

Bruce Cartwright CA, Chief Executive, ICAS, said:

“As Chartered Accountants (CAs) and finance professionals, we have a responsibility to pass on our knowledge to those who are in need of it the most. Working with children from schools in areas of low social mobility at this early stage in their lives is vital, and by partnering with the Rise initiative, we can help provide them with the tools and understanding they can use to work towards a successful career and a bright future.” 

Maureen Penfold, Managing Partner, Moore Kingston Smith:

“We are delighted to partner with Rise, which recognises that not all young people start the race from the same starting point. As a firm, we are passionate about personal and professional development, and our people are keen to nurture the next generations, no matter their background, who would really benefit from additional support when it comes to knowing what careers are out there, how existing strengths can be applied, and develop new skills for a promising future.”

Victoria Kirkhope, People Partner, RSM UK:

“At RSM UK we are proud of the work that we are already doing to support social mobility, but we know that there is still more to be done. The Rise initiative offers the opportunity to make a big difference not only to the accountancy profession but also to wider society. By accountancy firms collaborating together we can leverage our strengths as a collective force, driving our commitment to creating a more equitable society. This in turn signals that there is a place for everyone in professional services no matter their background or identity.”

Cara Turtington, Partner, Saffery Champness:

“The pandemic has put particular pressures on young people and their education but through Rise we can be part of supporting them to close educational gaps and develop invaluable skills for future professionals.”

Matthew Crisp, CEO, Wheelhouse Advisors:

"The more in number we are, as individuals, SMEs, larger corporations and leaders, the better the need for change will be articulated and the more it will be heard, taken on board and actioned. We need to create a sea change, and it is collaboration that will make this happen. Professionals and leaders from all industries have a real opportunity to make a difference by adding to the momentum that is already gaining pace. If we can all start to make small changes to attitudes and outlook and be open to new ideas, new people, new routes to success and new ways of doing things, then change will come."