Mary’s Story 3
                                             March 2015

Youth In Business…

Youth Club Partnership with Enactus LSE launches Angel Entrepreneurs

Mary’s Youth Club have begun a six-week business project in partnership with London School of Economics Enactus programme.  Through voluntary support, young people have already had the chance to hear from a guest speaker, Pete Evia Rhodes, Senior Planning and Strategy Manager at BT.  His story of his first business as a teenager at school, all the way to working for BT and running his own business with his wife, were inspiring to all those who attended the session.

Galvanised by this example, the youth club then had to work on business plans, working with Rob, out Youth Club Business Volunteer.  Working out how to choose products to trade as well as important questions about marketing and branding formed the next stage of their endeavour.

Most recently, a group of 8 young people have visited the BT head office to pitch their plans in hopes of receiving an investment in their business model.  We’ll know very soon exactly how they’ve done!

Final advice from these professionals as well as tweaks to the costing process will prepare the young people for a day trading at Chapel Market on the 21st of March.  With this real-life experience under their belts, the young people involved will enjoy Insight Days placed in Industry and a graduation ceremony at LSE towards the end of March.

We’re really glad to be able to support the young people in their first steps towards economic independence and very grateful to all those volunteers and partnering groups who have made Angel Entrepreneurs possible!

Count Me In!

Featuring… Mencap

Mencap has had a presence in Islington for a long time – the charity’s head office is only a stroll away in Old Street – but work with the Islington Me-Time Project is even closer to home.  For the last three years local people with learning disabilities have been enjoying the use of Mary’s facilities to get out of the house, meet up, and regain confidence and independence.  Two regular weekly groups meet to tackle the Vicarage garden.  “I knew nothing about gardening,” says project leader Johnny Brown, “But I’ve learnt so much.  Facilitating and supervising the group has benefited me, the wide range of attendees and their carers and families who take the strain at home.”  Through the availability of the Vicarage garden, the group have profited from a long-term project ideally suited to their needs.  “Mary’s is a great venue for us,” says Johnny.  “We also hire the gymnasium for a community football team and the caretaker and admin staff are so helpful.  The guys are getting chances they couldn’t otherwise.”
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February Playscheme at Mary’s

February Halferm saw a busy and well-attended playscheme at Mary’s, concentrating on Families and the Family Tree.  Children brought in photographs of themselves and family members, prompting an unexpected but valuable discussion about hard and digital copies of photos.  For these children aged 6 to 12 there are great opportunities at the playscheme – to participate in a range of craft, physical and outdoor activities that parents called ‘impressive’ – as well as the unique opportunity to create a new community.  While playscheme leader Sharon Elliis was pleased with the number of returning children, she also observed that several new children were looking forward to the next holiday, when they would meet their new friends again.
Certainly the online booking form helped parents out – receiving positive responses on the post-scheme survey.  Children tried all manner of new activities, from crafting porcelain to ice-skating, at the Sobell Leisure Centre, celebrating Chinese New Year and finding out more about themselves.
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Mentoring at Mary’s

At Mary’s Youth Club we know there’s nothing like a mentor.  When a young person finds someone to streamline behind, they can find themselves in places they never believed they’d reach.
Over six monthly meetings of an hour or so, a mentor has the chance to advise, guide and encourage a young person between 15 and 19.  At this crucial age, many are challenged by the diversity of their options and the difficulty of understanding what their choices really mean.  Chances to see a workplace, hear about career paths and pick up practical tips are so valuable.  We’re currently in the process of finding mentors who are willing to give something of themselves to disadvantaged young people – and willing to enjoy a meaningful relationship that gives at least as much as it takes.
Our ideal mentors have a professional background or a managerial position, prompting real aspiration, together with sympathy and interest for young people and their lives.
Count Me In!

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Mary’s (SMICP),
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