A move from face-to-face to virtual volunteering with London Stock Exchange Group during the COVID-19 pandemic.
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is committed to ensuring vulnerable young people have opportunities to reach their potential and have the support they need to thrive and achieve. SHS has been working in partnership with LSEG to improve the life chances of some of London’s most disadvantaged children and young people. Putting our mission into reality is a challenge we embrace together. LSEG employees are consistently and actively involved with raising aspirations, alleviating the impact of poverty, helping parents into employment and improving the literacy of children for families supported by SHS. They regularly host office visits, help parents with CVs and go to schools to meet with parents. This direct involvement helps to promote parental engagement in education and break down barriers to employment.
Although school closures and the lockdown due to COVID-19 has affected our regular volunteering programme, LSEG staff remain committed to building connections and making a difference to the lives of vulnerable families. As face-to-face activities are not possible at the moment, we have made the digital leap and pioneered a new initiative supporting young people in an alternative provision school setting who are at risk of school exclusion.
Last week, we ran the SHS Young People into Leadership workshop as a virtual two-hour session where three students were supported to identify and harness their personal leadership qualities. They were encouraged and championed by LSEG volunteers who also shared how they overcame personal challenges. These stories were relatable and inspiring for the young people. Each volunteer also went away with a greater understanding of their colleagues and built deeper connections with each other which will help create a positive work culture. We will let the words of those involved demonstrate the impact the morning had on everyone.
“One of the most powerful sessions I’ve seen. The openness of LSEG staff disrupted young people’s thinking that those in professional positions have had it easy. Hearing about the personal challenges LSEG staff faced growing up was a real eye-opener for the young people taking part.” Joan, SHS Practitioner
“This experience will stay with me forever and I’m grateful to have been able to experience it.” Year 11 student
“A big thank you, the stories everyone told really touched me and will stay with me. I feel inspired to achieve.” Year 13 student
“I enjoyed the session a lot, it was very intense but rewarding. I was inspired by the stories both from the students – who are all clearly very special and talented – and my fellow colleagues. Thank you for including me in this.” Ayuna Nechaeva, Head of Europe, Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange Group
“It was a real privilege to be involved. Not only was this a chance to be of genuine use to young people who clearly have talent and potential, but it was also a totally unique opportunity to get to know my colleagues in ways which would not be possible in the normal course of our working days. We all return to our desks and meetings with new insight that has facilitated deeper connections. Thank you for involving me in this.” Beverley Noye, Brexit Program Director, LCH
“It’s important now more than ever to ensure vulnerable young people have the support and guidance they so desperately need. The young person I was paired with told me he wanted to be a footballer but he thinks now that’s just a dream, I told him a quote I’d always referred to when I feel something is so out of reach for me: “A goal without a plan is only a dream” so if you have a plan and you set yourself goals you can achieve anything… Thank you to SHS and to my colleagues Ayuna Nechaeva and Beverley Noye who were inspirational.”Natasha van Abbe, Customer Engagement Manager, London Stock Exchange Group
A huge thank you to LSEG volunteers Ayuna Nechaeva, Beverley Noye, & Natasha van Abbé for their time, positivity and enthusiasm.
We’re looking forward to rolling this out further within LSEG and other businesses. If you’d like to make a difference to the social mobility of children and young people and create deeper connections at work, please contact SHS’ Partnership Team on firstname.lastname@example.org