At Rank’s London coworking space, collaboration isn’t just a buzzword; it’s at the very heart of what we do.

Our aim is to create an environment where organisations can thrive together, sharing ideas, resources, and expertise to make a real impact on communities. We’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the organic growth of partnerships that exemplify this collaborative spirit.

One such partnership emerged between two of our tenants: Tutors United and KORI Youth Charity. Both are award-winning charities that deliver impactful community-based, youth-centred work to improve outcomes for young people at key life moments.

What began as casual conversations in our communal kitchen turned into a promising collaboration with the potential to transform the landscape of educational support for young people.

From Conversation to Collaboration

“Our teams work together physically in the space, and we use all of the social space, such as the kitchen. So it’s natural lots of people have just been chatting, getting to know each other, realising that we both work with young people from quite similar backgrounds, but different age ranges, where there’s a bit of cross-over,” shares Amy Whitelock Gibbs, Tutors United’s CEO.

The initial spark came when a member of staff from Tutors United struck up a conversation with Odiri Ighamre – KORI’s CEO and Odiri suggested both CEOs should meet. As they shared their organisation’s journeys and goals over a cup of coffee, they discovered shared interests and complementary strengths.

“We very quickly realised that we’ve got a sweet box of two things: One, where there’s crossovers, we both work with older young people: during university and post. And there was some shared interest around corporate partnerships and employability,” recalls Amy.

This led to immediate collaboration on a short-term project to leverage corporate partnerships for the benefit of young people in their networks.

But it was the long-term collaboration that truly captured the imagination of both teams. Recognising a mutual gap in support for young people during the transition from primary to secondary school, they conceived the summer transition programme “STEAM Ahead Summer,” combining academic tuition with creativity. This STEM-driven initiative, enriched with art and well-being components, aims to bridge educational gaps and foster a love for learning among 10 to 13-year-olds from low-income backgrounds living in Islington and Haringey.

Kids smiling while studying

Navigating Challenges with Hope and Resilience

Despite the enthusiasm and positivity among both teams, challenges remain, particularly in fundraising for the ambitious four-week programme. Yet, the teams are hopeful by the prospect of mutual learning and growth.

“I think whatever happens, the learning across the teams will be valuable in and of itself,” reflects Amy.

This collaboration isn’t just about achieving specific outcomes; it’s about the journey of discovery and connection that unfolds when like-minded organisations come together.

As Amy puts it, “You can definitely say that this partnership would not have happened if we didn’t both work in Rank’s Garden Walk coworking space. Not at all. I think there is something really important to remind people about: Obviously, post-pandemic, it is great that there’s flexible and remote working, but I personally think you can’t ever replace on-site work. Having great chemistry, having shared values, we create the initial ideas, and then being able to bring our teams together in hybrid ways.” Odiri added, “It creates a trust. Because you’re actually seeing each other work. You don’t get a chance to actually check out organisations like that.”

Two women smiling while talking at work

*Amy Whitelock Gibbs, CEO of Tutors United (right)

Building Bridges

Reflecting on our coworking space’s efforts to foster collaboration among our tenants, Amy comments: “I think you’ve done a great job setting up the space to encourage collaboration. The breakfast events, yoga sessions, and other activities really bring people together.”

Odiri added: “It’s been heartening to see our staff getting involved in activities like the Easter egg hunt. It shows how inclusive and engaging the environment is here. Today’s Share and Connect event with Blind In Business inspired me to think further about our approach to inclusion. To other organisations seeking collaboration within Rank’s coworking space: If you’re interested in what an organisation does, just reach out, and have a conversation.”

A group of women mingling at a networking event at work

*Tenants networking at our Members’ Meet and Greet event in our Garden Walk coworking space.

At Rank, we’re committed to fostering an environment where such collaborations can flourish. Through networking events, shared spaces, and a culture of openness, we aim to create opportunities for our tenants to connect, collaborate, and create meaningful change together. Together, we can achieve far more than we ever could alone.

Let’s keep the conversation going, the ideas flowing, and the collaborations thriving. Because when we come together, anything is possible.

Thank you, Amy and Odiri, for such an inspiring conversation.

Three women smiling

*Left to right: Odiri Ighamre, CEO of KORI; Amy Whitelock Gibbs, CEO of Tutors United; Sonia Talsi, Assistant Director of Operations of The Rank Foundation.