Working to change people’s lives is a huge
responsibility, particularly when they are in a vulnerable situation. Joshua
Pelled is the CEO and Founder of Bright
Futures UK, a Non-profit charity Organization that supporting children and
young people back into education after long-term medical
Bright Futures UK is the result of Joshua’s
personal experience. He has survived cancer twice in his life. Both times when
he was diagnosed with cancer, he was in school which meant taking a significant
period out for operations, treatments, therapies & recovery. He lost a year
of schooling each time he was diagnosed and the social life that came with it.
He recalls, “As I was able to start returning to school, I realized
there were no organizations to help me catch up on missed work or be there to
support my transition back. Like so many thousands of others, it was left to me
to work extra hard whilst recovering from Cancer and catch up on missed time in
Joshua’s own experiences became the bricks
of Bright Futures UK’s foundation. It was created as the
first UK organization to bridge the gap between illness and
education. Having experienced the issues himself, he wanted to create an
organization that directly supported young people who were going through the
same situation as he was; whether it is
mental health or physical illness. Bright Futures UK bridges the gap between
illness and education while working with NHS trusts, local authorities, and
Bright Futures UK is a grassroots
organization that provides support to bridge the gap between illness and
education. The organization has 4 main services – Tutoring, Mentoring, and
Befriending & Workshops. All programs it offers are tailor-made to each
individual or group the teams are working with. Joshua states, “No
illness affects young people the same, so why should the service we provide
take a cookie-cutter approach.”
All services at BFUK are delivered by
volunteers who have specific skills or qualifications in requested topics from
its young people. There is training and support throughout the entire program
to ensure young people and volunteers have the best experience possible.
A Fighter who Beat Cancer Twice
Success is something personal and means
something different to everyone. Joshua believes that whatever drives someone
to be successful in their mind is very personal and comes from experiences
they’ve had growing up. A person’s definition of success will also change at
different stages of their life.
Joshua sees success means being fulfilled
by what one does both in work and his or her personal life. He says, “This
stems from my own experience of having beaten Cancer twice when I was young.
Whilst it may sound cliché, having Cancer puts things in perspective and shows
you what’s important. Spending time doing something you don’t enjoy is usually
counterproductive to having a good work/life balance and ultimately will make
Joshua is incredibly passionate about
Bright Futures UK and thinks the organization still has a long way to grow. He
deems, “The success we have with our services is never lost on
A Challenge of all Challenges
Every business experiences challenges
during its initial phase, and that is no different for non-profits. As per
Joshua, one of the most valuable lessons he learned over the years is to never
settle and always look at how processes, provisions, and people can be improved.
He says, “You have to recognize the successes you have and enjoy them;
however, you must always be thinking about the next step-up from where you
As with most organizations out there,
Covid-19 presented an unprecedented challenge for every aspect of the business.
This was the roadblock of all roadblocks and tested Bright Futures UK to the
limits. Whilst many organizations suffered, Bright Futures UK found opportunity
and came out of the pandemic a stronger organization. During this major challenge,
the BFUK team’s ability to constantly change to improve made adapting to the
pandemic much easier. Without continuously working towards a better
organization, BFUK would not have been able to adapt as quickly as it did and
overcome the challenge that was Covid.
How does Bright Futures stay abreast
with the increasing competition in the industry?
As a unique charity, with no other
organization providing the support we offer, it’s important to work alongside
existing provisions. Bright Futures UK works alongside both statutory
provisions and private organizations. By being the only organization providing
this support, we are exclusively placed to bridge the gap between schools,
hospitals, and local authorities.
By working alongside many other organizations
which work with the young people we support, we stay plugged into updates,
news, and opportunities. It helps us as an organization keep up to
date and always remain current.
Leading a Dedicated Team
As a CEO, Joshua sets the strategic direction
of BFUK and ensures the team works like a well-oiled machine to carry out tasks
and meet targets. He says, “Having a fantastic team around me means a
lot of my responsibilities are working with my senior leadership team to make
sure everyone is working towards our common goal. I play a major role in
fundraising, development, and administration of the charity.” He
also adds, “The work we do speaks for itself and motivates every single
member of the team – whether they are on the front lines or behind the scenes.
Creating an environment my team feels comfortable in is incredibly important to
me and helps reinforce just how valuable they are to Bright Futures
For Joshua, the team should feel motivated
to come into work, as whatever their role in the charity is, they are making
such a big difference to young people’s future.
Passionate for Helping Young
According to Joshua,
maintaining a work/life balance is always difficult for a passionate leader
with goals. He finds it particularly difficult as his work blends into his
personal life also. He states, “I don’t consider this a negative as I’m
lucky to work in an area I’m so passionate about.”
Joshua’s regular day mostly is working with
the team, meetings, or admin. In the evening, he tries to socialize as much as
possible, whether that’s meeting a patron for a drink or seeing friends for
dinner. When his personal and professional life overlap, Joshua sees this as a
key motivation to involve personal life in the amazing work of Bright Futures UK;
whether that’s attending a fundraising event or encouraging friends to
volunteer and support young people.
Heading to Provide as much Support as
Bright Futures UK is the only organization
supporting children & young people back into education after
long-term/chronic illness. Joshua’s vision for Bright Futures UK is to be able
to offer support to young people all over the UK who are struggling to get back
into education after the illness.
Joshua Pelled wants to
establish Bright Futures UK as a national charity that works alongside the NHS,
Statutory provisions, and schools to ensure illness doesn’t stop young people
from reaching their true potential. He states that BFUK will
continue to offer its online services on a national scale whilst carefully grow
the company’s physical presence to key hubs across the UK. “Whether
young people need support in person or online, BFUK will be able to provide
that support,” says Joshua.