PUPILS from a Gosport school have started a mentoring programme with insurance giant Zurich.
Staff from the company’s Whiteley office have volunteered to become mentors for a group of 12 Year 10 students at Brune Park Community School.
Headteacher Richard Kelly said he was thankful for the time the employees were putting into the partnership.
Mr Kelly said it would be of great benefit to the students.
He said: ‘We don’t underestimate the commitment of time and effort from our business partners.
‘The mentoring programme will make a difference to a targeted group of students that we know will benefit from this support.
‘We have an established and ongoing relationship with Zurich and this activity is further evidence of effective partnership working.’
The Zurich staff involved first did a training programme which covered mentoring skills, questioning techniques and safeguarding.
Mark Price from Zurich Insurance said he was impressed with the hard work the employees had already put into the mentoring programme.
Mr Price said he was delighted the firm was able to help the students.
‘We were overwhelmed by the interest and commitment of our staff to want to get involved in the mentoring scheme,’ he said.
‘The training and preparation has been thorough and we can’t wait to get going.
‘Meeting the students is the first step to what we know will be a successful and worthwhile scheme.’
The students will have regular meetings at the school with their mentors.
The aim of the programme is to maximise the learners’ potential, to build confidence and give them the best possible start after leaving the school.
One of the students, Ashlyn Collins, said she thought the programme was a great idea.
Ashlyn said: ‘It’s a great opportunity to get guidance and hear experiences from someone outside of school.’