On Tuesday 29th September 2015, Urban Synergy held its Annual General Meeting at Thomson Reuters, Canary Wharf.
Leila Thomas Founder & MD delivered an update on the activities of the charity during 2014/15:
The year was spent continuing to do what we do best, early intervention outcome focused 1-2-1 mentoring and ‘Top Tips To The Top’ Role Model seminars, servicing demands from parents and teachers mainly in the Lewisham borough.
The seminars have enabled the teenagers to become more aware of the many professions that they can work towards, this in turn raises motivation and the drive for them to achieve higher grades and raise their aspirations. Showcasing local role models who attended inner city state schools who, through hard work and determination, can show young people what they can achieve and that it’s possible to work in the same industry.
We have also begun to engage with local primary schools, delivering role model seminars to inspire young people to think about possible career paths and to raise their aspirations and self belief before their transition to secondary school.
Our charity has a track record of being able to show journeys of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, mostly aged 14yrs and have now either graduated from university with the support of our mentoring. We continue to work with schools and youth groups to provide 1-2-1 mentoring focusing on developing soft skills and preparing young people for the world of work, providing career advice and exposure to work experience.
Helping young people prepare & take their 1st step into the world of work.
During summer 2014 Urban Synergy placed 27 young people in work experience at companies including Lloyds Bank, Thomson Reuters, Amosu Robinshaw Solicitors, BPTW Partnership (Architecture), A.A.Tikare & Associates (Dental Surgery) and YSC (Psychology).
This project was a success giving young people in Youth clubs an opportunity of a lifetime which otherwise might not have been available to them. Shadowing professionals in the corporate world gave some of them the opportunity to rethink their future and believe in themselves.
We now have a waiting list of young people who are interested in taking part in the next summer work placement experience. The waiting list was born out of success and word of mouth from those who took part and informed their peers of this great opportunity.
All of the young people were prepared for the workplace and made a good impression on the employers who all gave 100% positive feedback and want to repeat the programme next year.
Feedback from young people[quote cite=”Ben 15, Journalism Team at Thomson Reuters”]It has helped me to realise how much work I need to put in as a year 11 student going on to take my GCSEs. I have learnt how to use my time keeping correctly and also I have learnt that I need to put in a lot of work to gain these positions[/quote]
Special Thanks to our AGM Speakers and Testimonials on the evening:-
- Courtenay Griffiths QC Urban Synergy Chair of Trustees spoke about the need for communities to come together and support organisations like Urban Synergy.
- Silimanjaro fundraising Team who raised £10,000 to support the charity.
- Lewisham Young Mayor Office Katy and Jamal spoke about how young people need work experience, and how Urban Synergy’s Career Jumpstart programme was able to help so many get that head start.
- Mentor and regular donor Gordon Greer spoke about his experience mentoring 4 young people over the past 6 years, and how it helps him develop.
- Parent Yvonne and Mentee Jonas spoke about the positive impact mentoring has already made.
- Teachers from Gordonbrock Primary and Deptford Green spoke about the long lasting impact of our Role Model seminars on students.
And finally, Young Ambassador Kojo spoke about his journey, from being one of the early mentees, to completing his Law degree.
Donovan Davidson reported on annual accounts and Dianne Johnson reported on the Mentoring programme deliverables.
I would like to thank everyone who came to our AGM and all of our funders and supporters for their continued support. Urban Synergy would not exist without the contributions of our dedicated volunteers. I would like to thank everyone who has given their time and expertise to work on our board of trustees, legal support, steering group members, our administration team and our volunteer mentors and seminar role models who continue to dedicate their time to change the lives young people.