On 18th of July, students from Gledhow Primary School in Leeds celebrated the achievements of the mothers and daughters who have taken part in Mosaic’s Primary School Mentoring Programme, with an emotional graduation ceremony at the historic Leeds University. A prestigious British red brick University, Leeds University provided the perfect back drop to the end of what has been an amazing year for students, mums, mentors and teachers from Gledhow Primary.
Anastasia Karanika, Volunteering in Schools Lead Officer from the University, kicked off the day’s events with a very warm welcome to the School and to Mosaic. Regional Manager for Mosaic Yorkshire, Nabila Ayub commented: “We are so grateful to Leeds University for hosting our graduation event at their amazing campus. Being in such a historic place of education really added a sense of gravitas to the occasion, which will stay with all of us for a very long time indeed.”
Mosaic Yorkshire Regional Leadership Group Co-Chair Sarah Khan Bashir gave an inspirational speech where she told the young students about her parents who wanted her to become a Doctor, completing her Chemistry degree and pursuing Law. Now a partner at Shire Solicitors in Bradford, Sarah is also also mum to three daughters who she supports in their decision making whilst managing her own successful career.
There then followed a tour of the Parkinson Building, a grade II listed art deco building and bell tower which is a prominent and well known landmark in Leeds. The mums and students then went on to the Centenary Gallery and Brotherton Library, the principal component of what has become Leeds University Library and home to some of the UK’s most outstanding and rare books and manuscripts.
The tour continued in the new Museum of Medical History; here the girls met PHD students and took part in a workshop about the amputation process. The students particularly loved this part of the day, and comments ranged from: “Urgh, I can’t look!” to: “Wow, that’s amazing!”
Gledhow Primary School has been participating in the Primary School Programme for 9 weeks over the Spring term and has been involved in raising aspirations of their girls in school. The mums and daughters were supported by mentors from Lloyds Banking, a school teacher and a life coach. Nabila Ayub commented: “We really can’t thank our mentors enough. Without them it would not be possible to get the girls to this point: a graduation here at this amazing seat of learning. The things they have seen today combined with the mentoring they have received over the past 9 weeks will change their outlook forever.”
Nabila continued: “Going forward, Leeds University will be supporting Mosaic with the recruitment of female mentors in the Leeds area to place in school and discuss education and pathways with students in the mentoring programme. We hope this new initiative will build on our existing partnership with Leeds University; students from the University already mentor via an internal programme, and we hope this partnership will transfer across to our other programmes.”
Sarwat Akbar, a Teacher from Gledhow Primary commented: “I wasn’t expecting this to be quite such an emotional day. The girls have just taken all of this in their stride, the grandeur of their surroundings, meeting much older students and being the centre of attention at the graduation ceremony. I’m not sure this would have been the case before the Mosaic programme, but now I see confident girls ready to move on to the next phase, whatever that might be for them.”
Sarah Khan Bashir, Co-Chair of the Yorkshire Regional Leadership Group commented on the visit to Leeds University: “These experiences can and do impact on the future aspirations of a child at this stage in their personal and school life. It’s not just the memories and photographs, but being a part of the history of this institution, asking questions of the students and lecturers and being listened to! But we do need more mentors to help us impact the lives of even more young people.”
Mosaic Yorkshire is now recruiting mentors to support programme delivery commencing in the autumn term. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor should contact firstname.lastname@example.org