Harrogate businessman Noel Stephenson has been recognised by HRH The Prince of Wales for his role as a volunteer mentor in Yorkshire secondary schools at a prestigious event held at Sandringham this week.
Noel was congratulated by The Prince of Wales for his commitment to mentoring young people from deprived communities and helping them realise their talents and potential through Mosaic’s mentoring programmes.
Noel was one of only 12 volunteers shortlisted, out of thousands, for the Princess Badiya Mentor of the Year Awards which took place at the event. His work included leading a team of pupils from St Bede’s Catholic Grammar School, Bradford, to win the 2014 Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge competition. A nationwide completion where over 600 schools from some of the most deprived areas in the country entered and were supported by Mosaic mentors.
Speaking from Sandringham Noel said: This event is a real privilege, working with Mosaic has been wonderful and I never expected to be thanked for the time I have given. I’m passionate about helping young people and that is why I mentor but being invited here is a real pleasure and a day I will remember.
Noel, a sales director at digital agency The Whole Caboodle, Harrogate, has been a Mosaic mentor for two years.
Noel said: When I think back to the very first mentoring session I held with the team and compare it to where they are now, I would challenge anyone to not recognise the impact that mentoring has. Simple things like giving these children a voice and room to express themselves with no fear of being judged has had a fantastic impact on their confidence.
“I recognise that people are busy. With work and home life being as it is today, the commitment may scare some potential mentors from getting involved. However the reality is that you can make a real difference by giving up as little as six hours over a twelve week programme.
Jonathan Freeman, Managing Director of Mosaic commented: We are privileged to have been invited to Sandringham today by HRH The Prince of Wales. Today’s event is all about celebrating the unique achievements of some of our longest serving mentors, without whom Mosaic could not operate. Each of these individuals had given their time to make a difference to the lives of children and individuals throughout England and we are immensely proud of their achievements.
Mosaic provides fully-funded mentoring programmes into primary schools, secondary schools and prisons across the UK. An initiative of Business in the Community, the organisation will offer support through its mentoring programmes to 1,300 primary and secondary school pupils and young adults from the Yorkshire region this academic year.