Mosaic mentees in Milton Keynes from the Milton Keynes Academy and Lord Grey School have been bringing to life lessons from their mentoring sessions at the annual Milton Keynes Art in the Park Festival as part of Mosaic’s proud support of the Step Up To Serve #iwill campaign.
Through its delivery partnership with MKIAC, Mosaic has been delighted to impact over 200 students in six years of collaboration at the Milton Keyne schools through the Secondary School Group Mentoring Programme, where students are connected with volunteer mentors to embark on a range of accredited classroom-based activities to help raise their confidence, self-efficacy and employability chances.
For the past three years, participant students on the mentoring programme have been taking an additional step to implement their new-found confidence by volunteering at the Art in the Park Festival. An annual festival started seven years ago by Mosaic mentor Anouar Kassim MBE, the festival seeks to bring the different communities of Milton Keynes together to celebrate its diversity. The students have been encouraged to volunteer through a variety of roles as part of Mosaic’s pledge to the #iwill campaign, led by charity Step Up To Serve. The #iwill campaign is a strategic, long-term, cross-sector transformation initiative, which seeks to unlock the potential of youth social action across the business, education and voluntary sectors of the UK.
Speaking about the student volunteering, Anour said: “Volunteering at the festival perfectly complements Mosaic’s mentoring programme and its commitment to youth social action. Through practical skills such as project management and financial analysis, the young people are really enhancing their confidence and employability chances”.
Some of the volunteering activities the students have gotten involved in, as recently as July 2016, has included being allocated to artists in a buddy system to learn more about their trade and skills. This has ranged from working in the kitchen theatre with celebrity chefs such as Cyrus Todiwala OBE through to working with the IT and organiser teams to conduct market research and analyse what aspects of the festival can be improved in future years. Students have also learned skills to manage performance stages and utilise social media to promote the festival.
Anouar adds: “This is a win-win situation. As well as helping the local community, these are exactly the types of skills the business community is looking for in its workforce. By bringing them along to the festival, we are facilitating the application and practice of lessons picked up during the mentoring immediately after the sessions. And we are doing this in a very safe environment. What I would say is that these young people haven’t been just volunteers for us. Through their social action, they have become an integral part of the festival year on year, and help us become better and better every year”.
Debbie Gockelen, Business Development Manager and Teacher from Milton Keynes Academy said about her students’ volunteering at the Festival: “Being part of Mosaic mentoring programme really gave them confidence to participate and develop their self-belief, and this festival gave them opportunities to develop their skills from the mentoring programme even further. The two complemented each other really well”.