Goal 17, in partnership with Brandon Hire Station and Bristol Bears Community Foundation, has launched a new mentoring programme aimed at empowering young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Bristol to achieve their goals.
Launched at the start of March 2023, the programme will see 12 staff from construction company Brandon Hire Station sponsoring a 3-month employability programme, delivered by the Bristol Bears Community Foundation. Alongside this the Brandon staff will offer their time to mentor and support the young beneficiaries.
Brandon Hire Station is a Tool and Equipment Hire Specialist and part of Vp Plc. They wanted to create meaningful social value within their community and saw this partnership with the Bristol Bears Community Foundation and Goal 17 as an ideal opportunity to do so.
The Bristol Bears Community Foundation is the charitable arm of the Bristol Bears Premiership Rugby Club who do incredible work within their local community, using sport to help engage some of the most difficult to reach young people. Goal 17 identified the charity and have facilitated bringing them together with staff from Brandon. The 12 volunteers have undertaken Mentor training with Goal 17 in preparation for this week’s launch.
During the launch, the Brandon staff had the opportunity to meet the mentees they will be supporting. Together they toured the Aston Gate Stadium, interacted in games, and visited a local school. Whilst together the mentors and mentees also got set up on the new mentoring platform, Wowment.app.
The aim of the programme is to provide young people with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to enter the world of work, and the mentors from Brandon will play a crucial role in supporting this.
Craig Capel, Bristol Bears Community Development Manager explained, “Depending where you live in Bristol makes a huge difference to the opportunities you are likely to have in life. On one side of Badock’s Wood Park life expectancy is 9 years lower than the other side, despite these two postcodes being just a short stroll away from each other. With programmes like this and the support of these mentors, we are able to help close that gap”.
Brandon staff are committed to reaching out into their local community with many staff based out of their Bristol office. They want to help bridge social gaps and are committed to involving their staff and learning how they can help create better opportunities. Mark Burton, Brandon’s Commercial Director and one of the mentors said “We want to be an active part of supporting our local communities and that involves not just funding important projects such as this one, but also getting our people involved. We want to learn as much from this programme as the young people and use the experience to help us understand how we can better support our local communities”.
Talking of their experience launching the programme one of the Brandon Mentors, Kate Jones, shared, “Despite initially being a little nervous about putting myself forward as a Mentor, I can already see the huge value of this programme. We all have preconceived ideas and perceptions about the challenges in our communities but getting the opportunity to be hands-on, creating a change is very special. I know that I am going to learn just as much from this experience as the young person I support and I am sure these are skills and perspectives I will take back into the workplace”.
Over the next 3 months, the mentors will support the mentees using Goal 17’s technology platform, Wowment.app. This will allow mentors and mentees to remotely connect whilst safeguarding everyone involved in the partnerships. The Brandon staff will also have opportunities to share their career experience through supporting some of the workshops delivered by Bristol Bears Community Foundation.
Goal 17’s Founder, Fran Boorman concluded, “This has been a great launch and we are so excited to see these two partners in Bristol coming together. It is committed people like these who make a real difference”.