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Mentoring project gives confidence boost to young resident

Posted on 21 January 2019

Our HR and Payroll Adviser Sylvia Macnamara has helped young resident Jessie, improve her confidence and get ready for University through an inspiring and engaging youth mentoring project.

The year-long mentoring project, run in partnership with Hyde Foundation and the Big Kid Foundation, has brought together nine members of Hyde staff to share their knowledge and experience with Lambeth residents aged between 16 and 21. Seventeen-year-old Jessie, who is studying sport at college, has been meeting with Sylvia since last February.

Jessie explained: “At our first meeting we set a goal for me to be more confident when speaking to people I didn’t know as I get nervous, even when talking in front of friends. Our sessions have really helped me feel more confident and to give suggestions and offer my opinion, especially in class.”

Sylvia also arranged for Jessie and a friend to spend four days at a Hyde office as part of the mentoring project.Jessie on work experience at Hyde
“I shadowed the Communications, Development and HR teams,” Jessie said. “I really enjoyed the time I spent in each department, learning about what a housing association does and finding out about the benefits of working. Hyde said that if I wanted to, I could apply for an apprenticeship, which could lead to a job. 
“I’m now working with Sylvia on improving my interview skills, as I want to go to university and want to be able to promote myself in the best way possible.

“Having a mentor has made me a better person. I’m now more open to meeting new people, happier to take control and much more confident.”

Sylvia has also gained from the experience of being a mentor.

Sylvia commented: “It’s been a pleasure mentoring Jessie; she has been a breath of fresh air. Mentoring is not just about giving some words of wisdom to a young person; it’s also an opportunity to learn. I’ve improved my listening skills, looked at things from a new angle and found out about Jessie’s background.”

The mentoring programme is open to all Hyde staff and gives them the opportunity to develop their personal skills, share their skills and get to know some of our residents.

Our Group Chief Executive Elaine Bailey, who is also a mentor, commented: “Participating in the programme is a great opportunity for staff to make a real difference to the lives of young residents, while improving their own coaching and mentoring skills,”