Out of the corporate bubble and into St Mary’s C of E Primary School

Out of the corporate bubble and into St Mary’s C of E Primary School

News article from May 1, 2018

“This was fantastic; I loved every minute of it. It was amazing, I didn’t realise I could work after having kids, I really thought nobody would want to employ me. They were lovely, lovely people, I learnt so much about myself today, I didn’t realise my skills and potential until I sat with Caroline. We had top people from the city helping us – total strangers telling you how much potential you have. It just puts your confidence high.” – Filsteen, mother of two girls.

School-Home Support and London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) began a new three year partnership at the start of 2018 – and it’s been a busy first quarter! The latest volunteering initiative, benefitting the children and families we support, involved a group of LSEG employees running a ‘parent employment workshop’ at one of our primary schools in North London. The LSEG team, made up of colleagues from Unavista, Legal and Communications, were at the school ready for an 8.45am briefing before joining a group of parents for their weekly coffee morning.  A definite change to the usual working environment – and all part of the experience.

“It was really interesting and funny to be back at primary school. I don’t get out of the corporate environment much, so it was really nice to interact with the teachers and mums in our session. I am in a bit of bubble so it was nice to experience. It was hard work too but good thinking of creative solutions; we ended up getting a friend of the Mum I supported to give some feedback on her personal qualities, so we could add it to her CV.”  – Steven Roddy, LSEG

Over coffee, LSEG volunteers Celia Schwitzner and Lucie Holloway gave short presentations to parents, covering the basics of setting up an email address, writing a CV and interviewing. Many of the families we work with struggle to find employment, and it can be hard for them to access support. Having the opportunity to spend some time with people working in business is hugely appreciated by parents, and the Mums involved at St Marys certainly got tremendous value from the experience.

“I’ve got lots more detail in my CV. I’m really happy, I didn’t realise I had to tailor my CV for different jobs. I’ve learnt so much today. The people from the stock exchange were lovely, they were ready to understand me and help. The interview practice also really helped me.” – Irene, a mother with children at the school

Having parents who work not only improves family income levels, but also raises aspirations and helps parents become more positive role models for their children. We love doing parent employment workshops – without the support of LSEG staff, we wouldn’t be able to host them.

 “This was really good, really useful, and everyone we met was really nice. I’ve got an up-to-date CV and had the chance to practice interviews. I will tell other Mums what they missed out on! I was a bit nervous about meeting people from the stock exchange at first, but they were really nice.” –  Laura, a mother of children at the school

“This was VERY helpful! It made me realise when we wrote it down just how much I’ve done – it’s actually quite a lot when I read it on paper. When I say to people what I do volunteering it doesn’t sound much, but now it’s all down on a CV it feels like I’ve actually done a lot.” – Jessika, a mother of two

The session drew on LSEG volunteers’ own experience of securing employment, drafting their own CV and their background of employment at LSEG.  Volunteers do an amazing job of teasing out parents’ skills and experiences, helping them to articulate their strengths and provided a huge boost to parents’ self-esteem.

“I was a bit on edge this morning and felt a little bit nervous, but Nadia made me feel relaxed and she put me at ease. I didn’t feel under pressure at all and I’m really pleased with my CV.” – Michelle, a mother at the school

As well as being beneficial for the parents we support, the experience was rewarding for LSEG staff involved.

“This was really good, the parent I supported was really enthusiastic. With the CV she’s got now, I think she’ll get an interview. It felt really worthwhile, a really good morning.” – Caroline Johansen, LSEG

“A really constructive morning. The women I worked with really engaged, we worked together to help them recognise the skills they have and to produce their first CV.  This was an enjoyable session, clearly defined.” – Lucie Holloway, LSEG

“It felt very rewarding to encourage the parents to believe in themselves and guide them through common interview mistakes that I made earlier in my career.” – Celia Schwitzner, LSEG

If you’d like to get involved in the next parent employment workshop on 18 May 2018 (11.45am – 1.30pm) please contact Emma Mortoo by email via volunteer@shs.org.uk or give her a call on 020 7426 5009.

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