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Inclusivity

Inclusivity: ‘an intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized’

As a person I stand for inclusivity and accessibility, having grown up where I did I saw a lot of people having to climb out of their barriers and push themselves into opportunities that for some, were a given. Personally I am not a judgemental person – I try not to judge a person before I know them as often many, myself included, can put on a front and often really getting to know a person takes longer than one meeting. So why am I harping on about this?

Well recently I attended my first Springboard Social event and it got my wee brain ticking about this topic. In what other business would you find 22 people of all walks of life, different accents and colloquialisms, and job roles varying from the C.E.O to administrator rubbing shoulders dancing the cha cha slide together? Not many I reckon.

But that’s what Springboard is about to me, in our programmes we do not discriminate – we support all people from all walks of life of all ages. If you look at Future Chef we support all schools no matter their status, our Into Work Programmes – yes some are specific to groups of people for example Galvin’s Chance – but if you don’t qualify for that programme you will more than likely qualify for another – Hospitality Futures, Diageo Learning For Life, Inspire Work Experience.

The Springboard Charity’s message is – ‘Making a difference to people’s lives’ and I believe we do this – whether a 13 year old who doesn’t know what they want to do we provide experience, a person with a criminal conviction we provide a supportive, non-judgemental place for them to excel and gain new skills, for an 18 year old just leaving college who just needs a wee hand into industry we offer that hand.

I’ve only worked for Springboard for 6 months and when asked what I do now – I’ve struggled to describe it in just a few words with a concise message but after the team meeting it all came together for me. We are helping people and that is what connects us all from the top to bottom – we have inclusivity built into us, into our work ethic and practice. Not only does it make my job easier to work with likeminded people but to work for a business that has similar principals makes it even easier. So if like us you like to help people – or you think you need supporting please get in touch as I am sure there will be someone or something that can support you.

scotland team

By Andrea Hardy
Programme Manager

Mentoring - GEMS

 
As a programme manager, I facilitate a number of different Springboard Programmes, and I love all of them, but one that has resonated with me the most is possibly the GEMS (Graduate Education Mentoring Scheme) Programme. I finished my degree in 2014 and quite frankly it was one of the proudest moments of my life, for personal reasons completing my degree seemed like an impossible challenge and my dissertation… Well there were a lot of late nights typing with a can of energy juice only fingertips away (I do not advise this method if can be avoided!). 
 
Throughout my degree there were a lot of people I could ask for advice, my mum, my employers my lecturers and other students – but more often than not my questions would lead to more questions that those whom I asked, just didn’t have the answer to. I completed lots of work experience through my degree for lots of different companies, I did a lot of networking – made lots of acquaintances and lots of connections on Linkedin – but I never really had one person to ask the ‘daft’ questions, or obscure questions too or have someone challenge me as to why I was completing sporting event work experience when I have (still don’t) no interest in sport at all. I am incredibly lucky to have the support network that I do but I didn’t have that one person to call a mentor, until I moved down south and started working at the Royal Oak.  My mentors at the Royal Oak nurtured my professionalism, taught me about the industry and supported my ideas as well as questioning them – making sure I knew what I was doing before I finalised any decision. 
 
Many of the students undertaking a hospitality degree don’t follow their degree into industry, instead choosing to go elsewhere. The hospitality industry is full to the brim of interesting people, from all over the world, with different stories to tell and sometimes I think the stereotypes that hospitality has seemed to gain over the years masks the greatness of the industry!
 
By matching undergraduates to some of our industry leaders those stories and experiences can be shared, inspiring a whole new generation. The big bad world is a scary place for any person and for those completing degrees the world becomes their oyster. But with this new found freedom can come uncertainty, fear and anxiety but a mentor can guide, can answer questions, can support in those new situations. I know that if I had had an industry mentor early on in my degree I would’ve taken on more relevant work experience and perhaps found where my skills lie a little earlier in life.
 
Mentoring is a 2 way thing, for mentors mixing with a student who is perhaps 20 years their junior will show them a different way of thinking to. As well as this it will provide a new focus for their career and someone to inspire that will love to hear their stories. 
 
The GEMS programme is amazing and I am sure that the students that we support through this will be great. But I know Springboard would love to support more – but that’s where we need you. Whether you’re a student, a lecturer, a friend, an industry leader. If when reading this you’ve thought of someone that could benefit from this programme please ask them to get in touch with us – because we would love to help them!
 
By Andrea Hardy 
Programme Manager