Mosaic has seen some truly inspirational mentors achieving simply stunning results in their own communities
July 16, 2015: As usual, it’s been a very busy end to the Mosaic calendar year and the last month or so has been dominated by annual end-of-year celebration events in each region. It has been such a huge pleasure to see almost 400 guests across events in each of the five regions in which we currently work come together to celebrate the achievements they have delivered.
In particular, these events have seen some great presentations and performances from the young people we support, talking powerfully and passionately about the help that their mentors have given to them. We have also crowned the winning regional mentors of the year at these events, recognising the amazing lengths that our volunteers have gone to over the last year to help young people on our programmes. We have seen some truly inspirational mentors achieving simply stunning results in their own communities.
I can safely say that Mosaic has had its best year ever, delivering more help to more young people thanks to our largest ever number of volunteer mentors. A big part of this has been thanks to the fantastic support provided by a range of new supporters, such as our new partners at The People’s Postcode Lottery.
There has been so much to celebrate across all of our programmes. Whilst we tend to remember some of the high-profile events we organise – such as our primary school graduation events, celebration events or World of Work visits – the highlights for me have been the opportunities I have had to talk directly to young people about how the support of their mentors has opened doors to them that they thought were closed. I recently spoke with a small group of secondary school students at one of our London schools who have been participating in our group mentoring programme. They talked passionately about how they had been on some amazing visits to Buckingham Palace and Canary Wharf as part of their programme, which had really opened their eyes. The thing that had the greatest impact on them though was how they’d never had the opportunity to meet successful individuals like their mentors before, people who had taken the time to help them understand how they can and should achieve the very best in life regardless of the barriers in front of them.
A wide variety of inspirational keynote speakers spoke at our end-of-year celebration events, ranging from property entrepreneur Tom Bloxham MBE and Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council to Olympic medal-winning para-athlete Eleni Papadopoulos and Steve Ronald, Chairman of Trustees for the Heathrow Community Fund and Head of Product at British Airways.
Many of our corporate supporters and partners hosted these events and the primary school programme graduations, including Heathrow Academy, LendLease, Leeds Town Hall, Manchester Metropolitan University, Birmingham University, Royal Holloway University, Leeds Trinity University, the House of Lords and the offices of KPMG; A startling range of venues perfect for honouring the achievements of mentees and mentors alike.
As this business year ends for Mosaic, we find ourselves in planning mode for the next academic year and we have some ambitious plans in the pipeline. I am really excited about working with our Board, Regional Leadership Groups and the Mosaic staff team to finalise the plans for a bumper year in 2015/16. We are also looking to recruit more mentors than ever before so that the impact in our communities is even greater. The great thing about Mosaic is we never rest on our laurels and are always looking to do more and to do it better.
As we continue to build links with corporate mentors, the shining example of Maz Majid springs to mind. Maz is Vice Chairman of Mosaic’s London and South East Regional Leadership Group, but his day job is Head of GM Merchandising Operation at Marks and Spencer, where he plays a pivotal role in ensuring delivery of the Marks and Spencer strategic vision and managing day-to-day operations. During the first Gulf War, Maz attained the support of UK retailers to assist families whose loved ones were held as human shields in Iraq.
When Maz first became a mentor with Mosaic around five years ago, little did we know what an impact he would have on our organisation. In the time since, Maz has enlisted the support of over 100 colleagues from Marks and Spencer who generously give their time and knowledge as Mosaic mentors. This is a great example of how from just one individual getting involved, corporate support can really help to elevate mentoring to the next level. I would urge other like-minded individuals to do the same and spread the word in order to maximise the impact.
At our International Leadership Programme Summit held in Jordan earlier this year, I had the opportunity to hear from an amazing man called Mustafa Salameh, who is the first ever Jordanian to climb Mount Everest. His personal mantra is “Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of times your breath is taken away.” These wise words from a man who had achieved so much despite having come from a very poor and tough background, had real resonance for me and could easily be applied to the work of Mosaic.
I’m certainly looking forward to what the next year will bring for Mosaic and I’m looking forward to working with new and existing mentors to make Mosaic’s ninth year of operation the strongest and most successful yet.
We’re already building up momentum for the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge 2015/2016.
Jonathan Freeman is Managing Director of HRH The Prince of Wales’s charitable mentoring initiative Mosaic