Ablaze wants your business to join our community and be a part of our mission to tackle inequality of opportunity for young people in the West of England by utilising your staff’s skills.

Our approach is simple:

  1. We assess your current CSR activity against your CSR priorities
  2. We recommend the interventions we think will suit your business best
  3. We match you with a school
  4. We provide recruitment support, training and safeguarding procedures for your volunteers
  5. We broker and manage your relationship from start to finish
  6. We measure the impact of your volunteering and report it back to you

Quote: Investing in young people’s future is a key part of Burges Salmon’s work. Our mentors enjoy the interaction with young people and seeing their progress. Ablaze has been instrumental in the success of our volunteering programme; we would encourage any business to engage with them to raise the aspiration and skills of more young people.

We have a range of Secondary school based programmes and one off interventions staff can get involved in. Have a look at our programmes and contact us to find out how your business can participate.

“Investing in young people’s future is a key part of Burges Salmon’s work. Our mentors enjoy the interaction with young people and seeing their progress. Ablaze has been instrumental in the success of our volunteering programme; we would encourage any business to engage with them to raise the aspiration and skills of more young people.”

We have a range of Secondary school based programmes and one off interventions staff can get involved in. Have a look at our programmes and contact us to find out how your business can participate.

Group Mentoring

Share your skills and knowledge to inspire young people to aspire and achieve in their future careers.

Group mentoring, aimed at students in years 8-10, aims to inspire and motivate students to raise their aspirations and stay engaged with education. Activities delivered encourage students to set personal goals and work out their own plans for achieving them.

If your business would like to run this programme we would

  • Recruit a minimum of six volunteers per school
  • Provide training and resources to deliver the programme
  • Match you with a school
  • Manage the organisation and logistics of delivery
  • Assist with evaluation of impact

Six sessions take place over a twelve to eighteen week period. Over time, students build trust and rapport with the adult mentors, helping to improve communication skills and confidence. Working with volunteers from a local business or organisation, students gain knowledge of opportunities, work place skills and employability pathways. Mentors support and advise the students as they work through activities in small groups and provide positive role models throughout.

“Our volunteers have really enjoyed supporting Millpond this year – I often receive feedback telling me just how much they love working with the children and find it satisfying both personally and on an altruistic level by seeing the children develop. All of the children at Millpond are engaged, determined and incredibly well-behaved and they make our work an absolute joy. The teachers are also very supportive and go out their way to ensure that our volunteers have everything they need.”

How students benefit

  • Building a trusting relationship with non-judgemental adults
  • Real and relevant information on career choices and pathways
  • Informed advice and guidance
  • Modelled employability skills
  • An individualised post-16 plan
  • An insight into the world or work

How mentors benefit

  • Learning and/or practising important skills such as negotiation, leadership, communication and presentation
  • Sharing their knowledge and experience in a practical and fun way
  • Having the satisfaction of making a difference to their community

This programme is managed by West of England Mentoring (WEM) Partnership of which Ablaze is a lead partner. WEM delivers national best practice in business mentoring to students across the region thanks to start up support from the Government’s Careers and Enterprise Company.

Contact us to find out how your business can take part in WEM and the costs involved.

Evaluation of the programme shows the impact this intervention can have on the students who participate.

Bespoke interventions

We have a series of interventions available to Secondary Schools that volunteers can sign up to participate in.

Some of these are for groups of volunteers working together, some are for individuals who want to start with a one-off experience. Requests from schools come in throughout the school year and we operate responsively to these. We keep a database of willing volunteers and would contact you as and when requests come in.

Interventions are managed by Ablaze and any training, briefing and safeguarding processes involved will be delivered by us.

Mock interviews

We recruit a group of volunteers to go to the school and carry out a series of mock interviews with students. The school chooses the year group they want to target and the focus of the interviews and we will provide you with a briefing and bespoke question sheets for the day.

“The link with Intellect Books has been fantastic this year. The children benefitted hugely from a fantastic visit to their offices and got to find out all about publishing. The buddies have been very committed all year, coming in weekly to hear children read and this has made a huge difference in children’s understanding and enjoyment of texts.” Emma Cutmore, Whitehall Primary School

Career events

We source businesses from specific sectors to take part in a career fair at a school. We are always looking for people from a range of sectors to come and talk to students about their business.

Breaking limits

This programme consists of 5 weekly talks by inspirational speakers for a group or class of students. Each speaker has an interesting and inspirational story to tell about their career journey and their own experiences of school and life. Individual volunteers are recruited to deliver one of the 5 sessions.

Breaking limits is aimed at young people who are disengaged or lacking in aspiration at school. It provides them with the opportunity to challenge their own assumptions about themselves, to increase their confidence and self-esteem and to view their future and their career opportunities more positively.

Bookworms

Book Worms is a collaborative reading experience for year 7 and 8 students who are behind the expected reading level or who demonstrate a reluctance to engage at school which aims to

  • improve existing reading skills, particularly comprehension and retrieval
  • increase confidence
  • build reading pleasure

This is a reading intervention for onward progression from primary school. The books are chosen in consultation with the school. Students will be given the books to keep to support the promotion of reading in their home and family setting.

The Bookworm project comprises of a block of sessions lasting one term. In these weekly sessions the students work in small groups with trained mentors. The activities are designed to enable students to use and improve comprehension and retrieval skills, gain confidence in their reading ability and enjoy their experience with the book.

Ablaze would recruit and train a group of volunteers from your business to deliver this programme to a school.

“Pupils have looked forward to each session and enjoy reading with their buddy.” Caroline Carter, Holy Family Primary School

Employability workshops

We have a range of employability workshops available for students. These templates can be tailored to suit schools specific needs and businesses specific skills and sector knowledge. We would recruit a small group of volunteers to deliver a workshop on topics that include financial literacy, first impressions, interview techniques, cv success.

Contact us to find out more about how your business can get involved or if you are an individual how to  sign up to our volunteer database.

Have a look at our evaluation to see how students benefit from these interventions.