This year our flagship education programme, Mentoring Works, celebrated its sixth anniversary in Islington and the 1000th student mentored on our programme!
250 students, mentors, teachers and representatives from our partner companies came together for the end of year recognition event at Islington Assembly Hall. Leader of Islington Council, Councillor Richard Watts, and the new Mayor of Islington, Rakhia Ismail, both attended the event to thank all involved in its delivery.
In his opening address, Councillor Watts highlighted the importance of local businesses coming together to empower Islington’s young people to reach their full potential. Councillor Watts also spoke about the Council’s ambition of providing 100 hours of business engagement for all young people by the age of 16, and how Mentoring Works is a key part of supporting this ambition.
The BIG Alliance also welcomed local Executive Headteacher, Jane Heffernan, who commented on the value of employees volunteering to mentor students and providing them with a unique insight into the world of work.
Three generations of mentors/mentees discussed the impact of the Mentoring Works programme on their own lives and careers. Fritz D'Almeida-Vignon said that without his mentor, Lorijent Lamce, he would not have been encouraged to attend an Open Day for Loughborough University, which led to a successful admissions application. Fritz graduated from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours Degree in Politics and International Relations.
The event was an opportunity for the BIG Alliance to announce the 1000th student mentored on our programme – Peter Dalmacio of Arts & Media School Islington. Peter plucked up the courage to speak to an audience of 250 people, impromptu and unprepared, demonstrating and sharing that he had gained confidence through being mentored on our programme.
Bringing businesses together with the local community
The recognition event provided an opportunity for us to thank our partner businesses and mentors who take time out of their working day to support the students on our programme.
Employees themselves also gain invaluable experience by taking part in our mentoring programme. Oliver Bradley, Managing Director at Macquarie Group said:
“At Macquarie, one of our long-held principles is around opportunity and we strongly value workforce diversity and inclusion to sustain innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. Supporting the Mentoring Works programme is not only the right thing to do but provides our employees with a huge amount of valuable experience which supports the development of key leadership and communication skills to support their own careers. As a mentor myself, I would strongly recommend participation in the programme to other Islington and Camden businesses and their staff.”
If you’re a business and would like to find out more about our mentoring programme, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with our Education Programme Manager, Karolina Szostak.