Prince's Trust mentoring programme praises Midland Heart contribution
Dozens of students at schools across the Midlands have benefitted from working with more than 30 volunteer mentors from Midland Heart since the housing association joined an innovative Prince’s Trust programme to empower young people.
The secondary school mentoring programme is designed to raise the aspirations of 11 to 16 year olds through building their confidence, self-belief, motivation and employability skills.
Midland Heart has participated in the scheme for seven years and 2018/19 has seen a fresh quartet of staff volunteer.
Internal communications manager Kirsty Wayness, is currently working with pupils at Hodge Hill Girls’ School in Birmingham.
She said: “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of this programme and to sharing my career experience to support the students both now and in the future. This is a chance for me to try something new and learn too, working alongside pupils, teachers and other mentors with wide-ranging backgrounds and really interesting, varied roles.”
Another new Midland Heart mentor is Emily Logan, HR shared services administrator. She has completed her third session at Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy and said: “It’s been a rewarding experience so far; it’s amazing to see the positive change in the girls’ in only a short period of time.”
The other two members of staff Rachael James, head of procurement, and Sarah McMeekin, head of risk and audit, start working with their schools later this term.
Angela Terrolonge, team leader at The Foyer in Birmingham, is among 30 Midland Heart staff who have completed the mentoring programme. She mentored five young students over seven sessions in 2017/18 to support them with their own specific challenges. This included tackling communication difficulties, coaching them about working with others, building confidence, and setting and achieving their own goals.
The work included looking at positive and negative role models, considering apprenticeships and opportunities available to them on leaving school, discussing knife and gang culture, team building and their personal preferences for learning and presentations.
She said: “All of the young people I worked with got something good out of the programme and they reported increased levels of confidence around mixing with and speaking in front of groups of people. They also appreciated been able to get involved in activities and opportunities they wouldn’t ordinarily have had the chance to do.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mosaic and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an opportunity to help young people. It was really fulfilling to be able to give the students a platform to voice their opinions and thoughts, and to reassure them that they can be heard and people do care. It was a privilege to be able to work with them.”
Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007 before formally joining The Prince’s Trust in 2016, Mosaic mentoring programmes have successfully worked with 1,637 schools and over 40,000 young people with the help of nearly 8,000 volunteer mentors across the UK.
Nizam Uddin, senior head of Mosaic and community integration said: “The support from Midland Heart and their staff has been phenomenal. Their commitment and involvement with Mosaic has been instrumental in our mission of connecting more young people to more relatable role models, helping to give them the confidence to visualise success in a form that they can both relate, and aspire to.
“Thank you for making a real difference, enabling more young people to successfully live, learn and earn in the future.”
Mosaic’s vision is for all young people to be supported to realise their potential. With the help of volunteer mentors acting as role models, it aims to bridge the aspirations-attainment gap. For more information go to: princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/programmes/mosaic or call 0800 842 842.