A network of professionals from across Leeds and West Yorkshire gathered to celebrate a mentoring programme which is transforming the lives of hundreds of young people from disadvantaged or difficult backgrounds.
Mosaic Yorkshire - part of the wider Mosaic programme founded by Prince Charles - pairs children with a professional mentor who steers them through a formative part of their schooling, offering advice and guidance on reaching their potential.
And the celebration event at the Leeds offices of law firm DLA Piper, which coincided with the organisation’s 10th anniversary year, heard from youngsters themselves about how their own mentors have become heroes and role models.
Among the speakers was Qari Asim Mohammed MBE, imam at Leeds’s Makkah Masjid in Hyde Park, who spoke about the value of Mosaic’s work.
Also speaking was Jazibah Ali, a 20-year old Leeds University student. Jazibah is the first former graduate of Mosaic’s secondary school programme to begin work as a mentor herself.
She said: “I was 14 when our teachers told us we would be taking part in Mosaic’s mentoring programme to help us with our employability skills and confidence.
“I was so aloof before starting, had no intention of going into higher education and didn’t know what career I was interested in. After taking part in Mosaic’s mentoring programme, that all changed. Now I feel so much better and more composed as a person.”