Cornerstone joins Rio Ferdinand Foundation and partners to inspire the next generation

AN event designed to boost the aspirations and career prospects of young people across the borough has been put on by local businesses, groups and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation (RFF).

Marketing agency Cornerstone DM, based in Lees, partnered with the RFF, Oldham College, Oldham Enterprise Trust (OET) and Oldham Opportunity Area for the Enterprise Day in October.

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

Oldham College provided lunch and spaces within its Health and Life Sciences Centre for free.

Keen to inspire, invest in and increase opportunities for young people, Cornerstone was thrilled to take part, particularly considering the motivational and humble origins of the agency.

Fresh out of Huddersfield University with a degree in marketing, founder, managing director and Oldhamer David Wadsworth was inexperienced but had a 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.

Fourteen years and several moves later, Cornerstone now occupies a purpose built office space in Acorn Street, employs a 22-strong team across strategic marketing, public relations, digital, design, web development and print production and has an annual turnover of over £1million.

Cornerstone’s ‘communication’ themed activity workshop was delivered by PR manager Gill Potts and 18-year-old digital marketing apprentice Madeline Thorp.

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

She said: “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.”

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, so it’s a great pleasure to support our community’s leaders and managers of tomorrow in achieving their path to success.”

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.”

The career opportunity programme is offering weekly sessions 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 visit or contact Victoria Lowe on 0161 743 3779.

To find out more about Cornerstone Design & Marketing visit

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