Providing unique opportunities for young people
Turning bright sparks into leading lights
invest in the entrepreneurs of tomorrow
The Parnall Foundation was founded by Mark Parnall in 2016, to inspire young people by providing training and creating opportunities to work on exciting, unique projects on our beautiful Trelonk estate in Cornwall.
With the support of our in-house industry experts (who provide mentoring and support), we engage young people in projects ranging from research & development, aviation, marine, alternative reality engineering, design, hospitality and horticulture.
We provide them with unique opportunities to develop their skills, enabling them to stay in Cornwall to build their careers.
We offer programmes that you simply won’t find anywhere else (and not just elsewhere in the county). From training school-leavers in how to craft and build an original working Spitfire, to giving a graduate the opportunity to design an electric boat; a stint with us is a step in the right direction.
Find out more about some of the young people we have helped and who are with us currently
We aim to encourage young Cornish people to find appealing, unique opportunities and career inspiration right here in our favourite county.
Through genuinely exciting programmes, we feel we’re providing something rather special.
We offer an Introduction To Work (a one-day course that acts as a kind of concentrated work experience) plus five day work experience placements; a One-Year Apprenticeship that offers the opportunity to gain a nationally-recognised qualification while developing practical skills and experience; a Graduate Internship which can last between one and twelve months and is designed to identify potential career opportunities; Traineeships which are placements designed to develop skills and knowledge. Whatever you need for whatever stage you’re at.
meet our team
Graham Dawe – Mentor
Graham is well known for his involvement in rugby, and he has been involved in the development and delivery of a selection of programmes within the Parnall Foundation, Graham uses his experience to help drive and develop students.
A former England Rugby Union footballer, he played hooker for Bath Rugby, Sale Sharks, Plymouth Albion and local the Cornish All Blacks of Launceston. He earned 5 caps for England making his debut at the Five Nations in 1987.
He played his last cap for England at the age of 36 having won 14 major trophies. Moving on to become player/coach for Plymouth Albion in 1999, he made his debut for his home-town team on his 40th birthday. In 2014, Graham took over as head coach for Cornwall, helping them to win the County Championship in 2015 and 2016. More recently he has worked with the England Rugby Squad and he has also coached the Barbarians, the Royal Navy and the College of St Mark & St John at Plymouth.
Jon Westbrook, CBE – Patron
Jon had a long and varied military career starting as an engineering apprentice in the Royal Navy and retiring as a Rear Admiral in 2013. He held command positions at sea and ashore on five occasions, including the nuclear submarine HMS TALENT. In addition to numerous operational deployments and roles in equipment procurement and intelligence he has considerable experience in individual and team training. He has travelled extensively, been to the North Pole and worked in the USA and Italy. Jon was invested as a MBE in 1990 and promoted to CBE in 2013.
Since retiring Jon has worked as on the board of a number of small businesses in the intelligence and marine robotic sectors and is a member of a government independent pay review body. Although not a Cornish native his family home has been in the county for over 30 years and he is passionate about enabling and developing people in the region to achieve their aspirations and potential.
Emily Burley – Foundation Manager
With a focus on the smooth delivery of the training and experience programmes for the Parnall Foundation, Emily uses her strong organisational skills to support both mentors and young people.
Emily started at the Parnall Foundation in January 2017 having worked previously at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske in Truro. Prior to that she worked as part of the Business Support team at Devon & Cornwall Media which produces a range of weekly newspaper and lifestyle magazine titles.
Support the Foundation
Want to invest in the entrepreneurs of tomorrow in a real, tangible way? Step right up. Your support is all-important when it comes to the development and sustainability of this venture.