BRIXTON MUMS GALVANIZE “ARMY OF PROFESSIONALS” TO MOTIVATE YOUNG PEOPLE AS THEY RETURN TO SCHOOL
Award winning community business We Rise is reaching out to London’s professionals to ask for their help to support and guide young people as they return to school this week.
After months of Lockdown many young people are feeling hopeless about their future. We Rise aims to recruit an army of professional volunteers willing to give an hour a week to share their experiences of working life.
When the first Lockdown hit We Rise, who were founded by Brixton parents and deliver innovative 21st century work experience projects, realised a new approach was needed to provide personal support. We Rise raised funding to develop a new digital mentoring programme that will connect hundreds of young people in Lambeth with mentors from professional backgrounds.
We Rise Founder Abigail Melville said:
“As a mum to teenagers I know how hard this Lockdown has been on our kids, especially when we have our own challenges to deal with. However much we try as parents our kids are programmed not to listen to us. A mentoring relationship with someone outside the family is incredibly powerful. Having a supportive adult who has their best interests at heart is a massive boost to a young person’s motivation and self esteem. Even better if that adult has a job that they want. By being a mentor you really can inspire a young life.”
We Rise operations Director Polly Waterworth said
“An incredible array of professionals have committed to mentoring with us. Being a mentor is incredibly rewarding. The feedback from our training programme has been amazing. Our mentors have learnt a lot about themselves as well as gaining a huge amount from the young people they mentor.”
So far We Rise has recruited mentors from film, finance, tv, media, law, entertainment, architecture, art, fashion and business and developed partnerships with global companies such as IT firm Verizon and advertising agency Leo Burnett. But they need many more.
Young people desperately need supportive adults from the world of work. We Rise provides comprehensive training for all mentors so they are equipped to:
- Raise a young person’s aspirations and awareness of potential careers
- Support their mental health and help them develop confidence and self belief
- Practice and develop key skills like organisation, planning and communication
- Help them take their next steps into further education, apprenticeships or work.
We Rise Programme Delivery Manager, Nikkola Daniels said:
“This winter Lockdown has been a massive challenge to young people. Not only have they missed out on all those positive interactions with their teachers and peers, but they have been deprived of the extra curricular activities and work experience that is so important to help prepare them for the future. The impact is really damaging for young people from more disadvantaged backgrounds. These youngsters really need emotional and practical support from committed adults to cope with the transition back to school.”
The programme takes an innovative approach designed to engage and support 15-19 year olds through a digital first learning community with a range of engagement options including one to one and group mentoring, masterclasses, Q&A sessions and peer support.
All mentors and mentees engage in a high quality training programme, are then matched through the platform and commit to a three month mentoring cycle of weekly meetings where they work towards agreed goals, with support every step of the way.
Director of Safeguarding David Njie said
“We focus on developing relationships and supporting people so we all feel that sense of community. This programme is designed to boost feelings of connection and wellbeing for everyone involved.”