South Yorkshire Mayor, and Westfield Health CEO and Chairman visit Dame Kelly Holmes Trust programmes to celebrate young people’s achievements and learn about the positive impact of working with an athlete mentor.

Over the last week, three separate groups of young people, from our Young Leaders and schools’ programmes, visited the headquarters of Westfield Health in Sheffield to celebrate their success, meet staff, and discuss the skills and experience they have gained. The opportunity allowed South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard, to speak directly to young people about his own life experiences, the values and behaviours of a leader, and his commitments to the wellbeing of the city, which align with our programmes.

“If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

As part of the multi-year partnership with the Trust, Westfield Health are funding a series of education and community-based programmes for young people in Sheffield. With research showing that the more interactions young people have with professionals, the more their life chances increase*, these visits to their workspace have provided a valuable opportunity for the young people, enabling them to sit in a boardroom, and talk to a Chairman and CEO of a successful organisation.

Young adults who recalled ‘four or more employer contacts’ are less likely to be NEET (not in education, employment or training) than those who had no involvement, and meeting with the wider team gave them valuable insight into a variety of job roles. The visits also offered a great opportunity for the team at Westfield Health to see first-hand the impact their funding is having on the lives of young people in Sheffield.

The Young Leaders  were honoured to present their programme journey and learnings to South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard and Dave Capper, CEO of Westfield Health during a visit on Monday. With many of the Young Leaders keen to go on to act as positive role models for wellbeing in the city, the aspirations they now have as a result of working with their athlete mentors supports the mayor’s vision to promote a better quality of life in Sheffield.

A number of the young leaders presented to the group about their experiences on their programme and their hopes for the future:

Before I started this programme I’d been sacked from a couple of jobs at turn of year but I was looking for something where I could give back to the local community. Since I started this programme, I’ve never looked back. I can speak in front of people now and I’m more capable of helping and supporting other people.

When I found out about this course, I knew I wanted to do it because it would help me to become a better leader. I’ve had many amazing experiences on this programme including running a meditation session at the Olympic Legacy Park, that have helped me exactly in the way I wanted and it’s really improved my confidence.

Because of attending this course, it’s inspired me in the future to become a motivational speaker and have a positive effect on young people. I’d like to become a role model for younger people.

  

Young Leaders visiting Westfield House

Later in the week, two of ten schools benefitting from On Track to Achieve programmes this academic year, Hinde House and Astrea Academy, visited Westfield House to celebrate their own achievements. The students also had an opportunity to meet the CEO and Chairman of the business, interact with Westfield Health employees, and utilised the organisation’s fitness facilities for physical activity sessions. The visits provided employees with another viewpoint of the positive impact the funding is having in the area, with teachers able to share stories and highlight the wider benefits to the whole school community.

“It was really good to visit here today and talk to the people who work here. Before I came, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it, but everyone was friendly and it was good to find out what some of the different jobs were they do.”

“I really enjoyed the programme and working with my athlete mentor James (Kirton) has been great. I‘m a lot more confident and prepared to try new things now.”

  

Students from Hinde House and Astrea Academy on their visit to Westfield House

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Westfield Health for their support and in particular the members of staff who gave their time to meet the young people last week.

* Education and Employers research: https://www.educationandemployers.org/research/its-who-you-meet-why-employer-contacts-at-school-make-a-difference-to-the-employment-prospects-of-young-adults/