Dom has been recognised for his contribution to society by being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Bristol University & also 'Deputy Lieutenant of the County & City of Bristol'.
OJ, Dom Wood (Class of 1987) is CEO of Award-Winning Charity,‘1625 Independent People’.
Dom tells the OJ Community, current Judd students and alumni,
“I didn’t know anything about the charity or voluntary sector when I was at school and now realise what a valuable and significant contribution it makes not just to individuals but to the economy. I wish to share with your readers that they have that option after leaving school – of making a significant difference to people’s lives”.
"I left Judd School after 6th form in 1987 and went to Bristol University to study Maths, it was a subject I was good at but had less interest in than ability. After a year at Bristol I swapped to doing units on both Maths and Psychology which I was really interested in. I didn’t have a career path mapped out but knew that my values were around social justice and not around making money, and randomly I fell into working in the homelessness sector in a large hostel for homeless people in Bristol.
Homelessness was something I had come across a bit in Sevenoaks growing up, but nothing to the extent it was in a city. Having worked in the hostel for a few years I knew that there was so much more that could be done for homeless people than was currently provided, and that it was definitely young people with whom I wanted to work and concentrate my efforts. I joined ‘1625 Independent People’ in 1996 which is part of the National End Youth Homelessness Alliance and provides services across the whole youth homelessness and care leavers pathway, from prevention to move-on housing - including specialist support around areas such as education, employment & training and mental health.
At the time there were less than 10 staff, but over the years the organisation has grown significantly and now there are over 100 staff delivering services.
I have been very fortunate to have worked, and still work, with some of the greatest people in the voluntary sector and youth homelessness; without their skill and dedication the organisation would not be what it is at all. As CEO you often get a lot of the recognition but the only way that an organisation like 1625 can grow and be successful is with the people who are developing partnerships and new ways of delivery, and the people making sure that the outcomes for young people are the best they can be.
I didn’t know anything about the charity or voluntary sector when I was at school and now realise what a valuable and significant contribution it makes not just to individuals but to the economy. In working in this sector we have seen many new ways of working, have delivered services at the forefront of youth homelessness and have won many awards.
In 2015 we won the National Lottery Awards for the best Charity Project in the country for one of our services called ‘Future4Me’ – in the photo above, you can see some of our staff and young people with the award with the likes of John Barrowman
, Michaela Strachan
and Rachel Riley
The charity sector needs great minds and great workers who want to make a difference in society, and to that end, I would encourage Judd students and alumni to look at the range of jobs and roles that there are in the sector and always remember to support initiatives that fit your own values.
My contribution to society and Bristol has been recognised with an award of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Bristol University and now in becoming a Deputy Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol, but I am nothing without those who I have worked beside over the years and the amazing young people we work with.
I would really appreciate it if any OJs or any of my contemporaries, or their kids could support our ‘Sleep Out’ project below – especially over this hard winter. It is really important to raise funds for our work".
On Friday 6th November 2020 from 7pm – please help us hit our £40K target!https://1625ip.enthuse.com/cf/1625ip-sleep-out-2020
1625 Independent People is a charity that supports young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. For over 30 years we have provided essential services to young people and we partner with agencies across the South West so that together we can change lives.
Young people will be heading into this winter with reduced support as so many services are unable to deliver or have been cut. There are fewer job opportunities, as the pandemic’s economic impact is hitting young people the hardest of all age groups. This November, young people will experience increased anxiety about where they will be spending the nights during the colder months. For them, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Coronavirus has been difficult for everyone, but for young people, the future is very uncertain. We need support from you and your communities more than ever before.1. SIGN UP
to Sleep Out with your neighbours, your community group, your colleagues, your family or even on your own2.
Find somewhere creative to SLEEP OUT
- In a tent in your garden
- In your car
- In the bath
- Under the table
- In the office at work
- On the trampoline
as a team or on your own, or in your community4. JOIN IN
to our virtual entertainment on the night Community fun:
At 1625ip, we are all about community. You may have got closer to your neighbour and others on your street over the last few months. Get them involved and make it a night to look forward to in small groups of neighbours (following government guidelines on numbers). Team building:
You can make this a team effort with your colleagues, community group and friends (from across the country!) - either in person or in separate locations. You can fundraise as a team, and bond together whilst supporting young people! A challenge to make your own:
This is a fundraising challenge, but you can make it your challenge. It will be colder in November, so please only sleep outside if this is safe for you. If you have a family with young children, you can build a cardboard shelter in the living room! On the night:
Tune into the entertainment from around 7 pm – 10 pm. There will be a comedy show, a chance to hear from young people that 1625ip has supported, a bedtime story and prize giving. We will connect you up with some fantastic takeaway choices to order on the night. We’ll even put on some yoga in the morning.
We will announce the full programme in the coming weeks. How do I fundraise?
Fundraising happens through this Enthuse platform. We will send you a Fundraising Pack with some helpful advice. For more tips, join the Sleep Out event Facebook page. You can connect with others taking part in the challenge and share a photo of where you will be sleeping out!
See more detail on our website: www.1625ip.co.uk/Support-Us/Sleep-Out-2020
For more information contact our fundraising team by emailing: email@example.com
Dom told the OJ Community, "I would have been keen to know about those working in the charity sector when I was at school and the value of the work. If anyone would like to get in touch with me to hear more about the sort of work I do and how you can really make a difference to people's lives, please email:firstname.lastname@example.org
and they will put you in touch with me".