A team from VolkerFitzpatrick has recently finished a 6-week ‘Amplify Me’ programme supporting students in North London through Local Village Network youth charity (LVN).
LVN’s aim is to support teenagers to reach their full potential by addressing network poverty - one of the key contributing factors that keeps young people in poverty and hinders social mobility.
Seven VolkerFitzpatrick employees mentored 41 students from Totteridge Academy and Park View School, sharing their career journeys and advice with structured sessions. The programme focused on employability skills whilst addressing confidence building and mindset change.
Injesh Khadka, volunteer on the programme and stakeholder and social value coordinator for VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “It’s been brilliant having the chance to help the students. Just a couple of years ago, I dropped out of university and lost my path until I joined a kickstarter scheme. I know the value that a mentor has had in my life, so I hope I too can inspire someone to reach their potential.”
The usual LVN programme was adapted for some (16) of the students to help them take part in the Mayor of London’s Design Future London 2022/23 challenge. The mentors imparted their knowledge about the built environment, looking at site appraisals, identifying problems and offering solutions. Emphasis was placed on the five main themes of the competition: high streets for all, building homes for Londoners, sustainable transport, making spaces for communities, and green energy/climate change.
Jack Donoghue, volunteer on the programme and assistant buyer for VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “The students showed great enthusiasm for the project and came up with ideas on how to improve the built environment, including more spaces for childcare and modernised streetlights. We saw great leadership skills and were impressed with the students’ projects.”
All the groups were able to finish and submit their presentations for the Design Future London challenge by the end of the programme. Two of the Park View School teams were shortlisted for the People's Vote, which was a great achievement.
The overall impact of the programme has been measured based on evaluation forms, qualitative feedback gathered via interviews, and through students’ presentations in the final week. The team scored 82.4 percent on opportunities - students have developed an awareness of opportunities and how to make the most of them; 73 percent on aspiration - students have increased motivation and resilience to achieve their goals; 69.5 percent on knowledge - students have an increased awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses and the skills employers are looking for; 67.3 percent on networking - students have better communication skills and confidence meeting new people.
Jade Broomby, programme manager at Local Village Network, said: “The volunteers did an amazing job inspiring students with their different career journeys. By bridging the gap between school and the world of work, they have raised the students’ awareness, and understanding of the depth and breadth of employment opportunities that are available to them not just at VolkerFitzpatrick, but also in the wider professional environment. They learnt important life skills and have the tools to start developing them. This interaction with inspiring role models raised their aspiration, confidence, and resilience. The teachers in the school have reported a noticeable improvement in general behaviour, time keeping, and attendance since the programme finished.”
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