Christ Church primary school is located on Brick Lane in London, surrounded by a number of disadvantaged areas.
The school has run Mosaic’s Primary School mentoring programme for a number of years, with the current initiative supporting a group of Year 5 pupils through volunteer mentors from Allen & Overy, an international legal practice located in nearby Bishops Square, London.
Mosaic is particularly thankful to our headline supporter Human Appeal, alongside the Aziz Foundation, TRS Foundation, John Laing Foundation and the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery for their generous support of the primary school mentoring programme.
David Tomlinson, a Year 5 teacher at Christ Church, helps facilitate the programme at the school. He explained: “Due to the nature of our school and its location, Mosaic and the mentors offer much needed support in terms of helping to build self-esteem and confidence within the girls.
“They offer a great example of role models and really help the girls to understand what is possible for their futures. The sessions give the girls the chance to reflect on their lives and their opportunities both in and out of school and provide them with targets to try to meet between sessions. The adults always take an active interest and this is really treasured by the girls who look forward to their arrival week on week.”
The school is looking to have a separate boys group for mentoring next year. David said: “We would like the positive impact to be spread as far and as wide as possible, with course being very similar to the one already run with the girls.”
On working with Mosaic, David added: “The partnership always surpasses my expectations as the mentors and the Mosaic staff always place such an importance on their relationship with the girls. It is always a pleasure working with everyone and I am very impressed with the quality and commitment of the mentors.”
A&O Banking partner Cathy Bell-Walker, who’s a Mosaic volunteer, said: “It’s great to see the impact that the A&O volunteers can have in the community immediately outside the office. A significant percentage of the children at Christ Church Primary arrive in the UK not speaking any English and the Mosaic programme aims to inform them and their mothers about further education and career options. The girls in our group want to be teachers, doctors and artists in the future and the course aims to give them the self-confidence they will need to be able to make that happen.”
Finance systems trainer Tara Flynn, who’s another Mosaic volunteer, commented that she had not mentored before and was impressed by the girls’ enthusiasm. She also mentioned that helping a young person develop their hopes and aspirations, by informing them of all the opportunities available in life, is a really rewarding experience.
Senior Associate Victoria McWilliam has been involved in pro bono work with children from Christ Church Primary School before. She wanted to take part in the Mosaic mentoring programme because growing up she had unreserved support and encouragement from her close family so she wanted to provide a similar experience to some girls at this school, who may not have that same level of support in their own family lives.
Finally, A&O Banking legal PA Samantha Nordmark added: “I enjoy every minute of mentoring and feel happy knowing that I am having a positive impact on the lives of young girls.”
Mosaic is always looking for volunteers to continue and extend its mentoring programmes so if you’re interested in joining our team please sign-up here.