TimeBank appeals to City workers to mentor young Londoners

National volunteering charity TimeBank has received £10,000 each from Team London and the City of London Corporation to encourage young care leavers to work in the City.

TimeBank’s City Opportunities Mentoring Project will match professionals working in the City with young Londoners aged 16-24 who have been in care, as part of a one-to-one mentoring programme. The volunteers will help the young people build their confidence, enhance their skills and increase their access to further education and employment opportunities.

The project also aims to create links between those who work in the City of London and those who live in its neighbouring communities. It is open to young people living in eight London boroughs: Camden, Islington, Hackney, Southwark, Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth and the City of London.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of TimeBank, says: “Leaving care can be a difficult transition for many young people, making them feel uncertain and overwhelmed. They may not have the confidence or networks to access work opportunities, particularly in the City of London. It would be fantastic if City workers could give up a few hours each month to support these young people.”

“You don’t need any special skills or experience – time, patience and commitment are most important. Helping these young people build professional networks, complete applications, access internships or work through the university admissions process for example could transform their lives,” she adds.

David Pack, Partnerships Manager at the City of London Corporation, says: “Young people leaving care are heading out into the world without traditional guidance from family, making it difficult when faced with decisions about jobs and further education. Our programmes encourage talented residents in neighbouring boroughs to forge links with the Square Mile, and this project provides care leavers with advice so that they can feel confident in chasing the same opportunities as others to achieve their full potential.”

The project will complement the work of partner organisation, London South Bank University (LSBU), which offers a five-day programme to help care leavers  develop life skills relevant to working in the City of London. This began in 2010, and has won a London Education Partnership Award and a Times Higher Education Award for Best Widening Participation Initiative.

Mark Ellis, Senior Manager, Schools and Colleges Liaison at London South Bank University says: “We challenge the participants to believe that they can aspire to work in a City firm, despite their circumstances. Several past participants have said that they would not have thought of going to university before the project, but now felt inspired about the future.”

If you are interested in taking part in City Opportunities Mentoring, take a look at www.timebank.org.uk/city-opportunitiesor email rachel@timebank.org.uk

Ends

Notes to Editors

  • TimeBank is a national volunteering charity.  It works to transform the volunteering experience and make it a real force for change.  TimeBank runs its own volunteer mentoring projects which are designed to tackle complex social issues. It is a UK leader in the field of mentoring, providing those in need with one-to-one support from a volunteer mentor. The charity also works with employers to encourage staff to volunteer and make a real contribution to their local communities. For more information see www.timebank.org.uk
  • Team London Small Grants Innovation Fund:  The GLA has distributed approximately £100,000 as small grants to individuals, community groups and other third-sector organisations signed up to Team London. These grants are to fund local initiatives that: demonstrate innovation through technology; deliver new ways of working; encourage volunteering that delivers impact in areas that help young people develop the skills they need to find work and/or those that improve quality of life in London.  The small grants provide a flexible source of income for organisations, both large and small, to deliver innovation that will increase the numbers of volunteers who sign up to Team London, and to meet locally identified needs which may not be appropriate for larger scale funding. 
  • The City of London Corporation: As the body providing local government services to the “Square Mile” business district around St Paul’s, the City of London Corporation’s primary role is to support and enhance the business City – a world-leading international financial and related business hub. The City of London Corporation is also committed to working with its neighbours to support the regeneration of local communities. The “Square Mile” shares its borders with some of the country’s most deprived boroughs where unemployment remains high.
  • London South Bank University (LSBU)is one of London’s largest and oldest universities. Since 1892, it has been providing students with vocationally relevant, accredited and professionally recognised education. As a cosmopolitan university, LSBU has over 25,000 students hailing from over 130 countries. The University has received the highest possible rating from the Quality Assurance Agency for the quality of education on offer