This Student Volunteering Week, Seymour Civil Engineering is applauding the commitment of apprentice Klaudia Robinson, in her new volunteer role as a mentor for Changing Futures North East.
Klaudia, 18, joined Seymour Civil Engineering as a management trainee in 2016, alongside studying for a BTEC level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
She began her volunteering last year with Changing Futures, a family mediation charity based in Hartlepool which aims to improve the lives of children through family relationships.
Klaudia said: “Within the first year of my apprenticeship I grew more aware of the work that Changing Futures North East did, as Seymour regularly took part in fundraising initiatives for the charity, such as it’s Christmas Jumper Day. Our Managing Director also took part in an event held by the charity which brought to our attention the amazing work they do in the community.
“I was really drawn to the work that the charity did, so when a co-worker approached me, asking if I’d be interested in joining her to volunteer as a mentor, I looked in to it and it seemed like a really good opportunity.
“As a mentor for Changing Futures, I’m there to provide support for the child I’m matched with. Every Thursday, we attend a two-hour group session together, to discuss a range of different topics, and after we have the opportunity to sit together, away from the group, and chat about anything we like.
“Since starting in September last year I have built a really good relationship with my mentee. It’s been brilliant to see them blossom in confidence and the more they confide in me the more I know they’re comfortable and trusting of me. I’m seen as their friend, rather than as a social worker or a teacher, which means they feel they can talk openly and honestly to me.
“I’d always wanted to get involved in some form of volunteering, but with juggling work and my studies I had started to write off the idea thinking I just wouldn’t have the time.
“However, Seymour have been really encouraging and have accommodated my volunteering massively. They allow me to leave early on a Thursday so I can go pick up my mentee before our group session, and if there are any courses I’m required to attend, even if it’s on an evening, they will give me those hours back.
“Without Seymour’s support it would have been too much to take on, so I’m so glad that I’ve been given this opportunity. Mentoring is so fulfilling, and being able to give back and support someone who needs it makes me feel really good.”
Supporting her to achieve her ambition to become a Quantity Surveyor, Seymour is now funding Klaudia to complete her Higher National Diploma in Building Studies at the College.