Back to June 2016

Leeds mentors lead the way on volunteering

Leeds teenagers have been learning about the world of work with help from volunteers from Leeds Building Society.

Colleagues from the Society have been working with Mosaic, a mentoring charity which supports young people in deprived and disadvantaged communities.

The team from the Mortgage Lending Service Desk have used their volunteering leave from Leeds Building Society for mentoring sessions with teenagers from Swallow Hill Community College in Armley since earlier this year.

Each colleague at the Society can take up to seven hours’ paid leave each year to help in their community.

At Swallow Hill, the team have been mentoring pupils to help them better understand the links between school and work, and to support them in building up confidence and skills they can use in the workplace.

Many of the secondary school pupils come from households with no adults in employment.

As well as regular sessions at the school, the group also hosted a day visit by 22 pupils to the Society’s Head Office in Leeds city centre.

They were welcomed by Chief Executive Officer Peter Hill before touring different departments to learn about the business and its wide range of job opportunities. They also met colleagues who have developed their careers with the Society, including new recruits who are completing workplace training through its apprenticeship scheme.

The mentoring project was organised by Kelly Martin, a team leader on the Mortgage Lending Service Desk.

“The day at Head Office was a great success and at least two of the children want to join Leeds Building Society as apprentices when they leave college,” said Kelly.

“The Mosaic mentoring project has been of huge benefit both to the school and Society colleagues and we’ve really enjoyed our time with the pupils.

“The 12 Society volunteers are dedicated mentors on our Service Desk so this project has offered new challenges and helped them develop new skills which they can use on a day-to-day basis. This will enable them to train and further develop new Service Desk recruits.”

Kelly said the project had been so worthwhile the Society hopes to work with Mosaic on further initiatives and would encourage other businesses to get involved.

Leah Larkin, Mosaic’s Regional Manager for Yorkshire, said: “Mosaic has a proud history of success in the region and it has been great to celebrate another group of pupils completing our mentoring programme.

“I must thank the mentors from Leeds Building Society who gave up their time freely to guide and inspire the young people and I’m certain they must be very proud of the excellent job they’ve done.”

Mosaic was founded in 2007 by HRH The Prince of Wales to create opportunities for young people of all backgrounds growing up in the most deprived communities.

Bryan Pearce, Deputy Head at Swallow Hill Community College, said: “For many of our students this is the first opportunity they’ve had to meet people from the business world.

“I know it has given many of them the aspiration to go on and do something they would otherwise have thought out of reach.

“It was inspiring when the employees at Leeds Building Society were so honest about their career paths, and made our students feel they too can succeed."

Ends

Notes to Editors

Photographs taken during the Swallow Hill Community College visit to Leeds Building Society.    

Leeds Building Society has 67 branches throughout the UK, Gibraltar and Ireland and assets of £13.5bn (at 31st December 2015). The Society has operated from the centre of Leeds since 1886.