Nighat Awan OBE, CEO of Shere Khan Ltd and Chairman of Mosaic North West led a visit of senior business and community leaders and two special guests from the cast of Coronation Street to a Moss Side Secondary School as part of The Prince’s Seeing is Believing programme.
Shobna Gulati who plays Sunita Alahan and Debbie Rush who plays Anna Windass joined the delegates at a group mentoring session with Year 8 students at Manchester Academy School in Moss Side, located in one of the most disadvantaged areas in the North West. Shobna and Debbie told the students about their passion to act and how this meant more to them than their celebrity status. The students were thrilled to meet the actresses and the business and community leaders and were really impressed that they were prepared to spend time to help them succeed in their lives.
Shobna said: “It was a really inspiring day and I feel very optimistic for the young people we met. It dispelled any of the stereotypes and myths people hold about young people and society today and for the first time in a long while I felt optimistic about young people’s futures. The day was very special for me and I felt privileged to be a part of it.”
Nighat Awan, visit Leader, said “We were lucky enough to meet some fantastic young people with huge potential. Today’s visit showed again how young people from the toughest backgrounds can make the most of their talents when successful individuals take just a little time to help them on their journeys. Mosaic hopes to provide a powerful vehicle to enable individuals to give a little of their time to invest in the young people who are our future.”
Delegates also visited HMP Forest Bank, to see for themselves how Mosaic mentors are making a difference in helping ex-offenders to make a success of their lives after prison. The delegates saw how through Mosaic’s support, the prison was able to equip ex-offenders to build their back in the community and heard how important positive influences in ex-offenders’ lives can be to reducing re-offending.
Delegates taking part on the visit included:
- Nazir Afzal OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North of England
- Kieran Roberts, Executive Producer, ITV
- Adnan Siddiqi, Director, Amstone
- Sobayha Valli, Assistant Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Aamer Chaudry, Senior Manager, Accenture
- Peter O’Reilly, Director of Prevention and Protection, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
- Nicholas Banks, Coutts Bank
The Prince’s Seeing is Believing visits invite senior business leaders and other influential people to look at key issues of social concern. This visit is part of a series led by Tidjane Thiam (Group Chief Executive, Prudential) designed to raise awareness amongst the most senior business leaders of the issues facing young people in our most disadvantaged communities, as well as highlight the work being done by Mosaic to address them. The regional visits will take place across the country, culminating in a national visit led by Mr Thiam on 11th January.