Thursday, 22 November 2007

I finished the day at the Civic Hall at the Celebrating Success event for Leeds Mentoring...

It was another inspiring evening where we celebrated the achievements of one of the jewels of Leeds and Education Leeds. Mentoring makes an incredible difference across the city and last year we had 4200 mentoring partnerships linking young people in our schools with mentors from the universities, businesses, voluntary groups as well as a significant and important peer mentoring programme which has developed massively over the last couple of years. The Mentoring Team have been going for 15 years Mohsin Zulfiqar told me but over my six years here in Leeds it has developed into one of the best elements of our work and certainly the best mentoring service in the country.

Last nights highlights included...
    • the noisy but brilliant 'Silver Sparrows';
    • the wonderful Lludel Bryant, UK Young Citizen of the Year 2007, a passionate, brilliant and articulate young man who works for the Leeds Mentoring Team;
    • the fantastic Bex Cohen, an amazing trainee teacher at Leeds Trinity and All Saints, who ran a Hip Hop Summer School working with looked-after children;
    • the erudite and powerful Andrew Edwards, from BBC Radio Leeds, who talked about his magnificent seven people who had influenced and shaped his life; and
    • the talented, brilliant, gorgeous and wonderful Dinneka Smilie, one of the mentors of the year, who is now studying at Notre Dame College after achieving brilliant GCSE reasults.

Barry Hilton and his team do an incredible job shaping and driving a series of programmes which are making an enormous difference and really changing young peoples lives. If anyone out there wants to help, wants to make a differenece, wants to change lives and has the time to be a mentor contact Barry at


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