Theresa Takes Women Leaders Award For Community Impact 2018
Worktree’s Theresa Mercer has received the Women Leaders Award 2018 for Community Impact Charity.
During her 11 years working for Worktree, Theresa (top third from left in picture) has helped to develop a volunteering model which is engaging 1,400 volunteers from 400 MK companies, currently benefiting more than 6,000 teenage teenagers in 11 MK schools each year.
‘Career WorkOut’ is a one-hour careers carousel in which 8-10 volunteer guests from the world of work visit a local school to answer questions about their jobs from small groups of 3-4 student in a carousel of 6-minute conversations. The programme is popular and sustainable, compared with other careers education initiatives, because of its simplicity and low cost. 99.8% of volunteers report enjoying the experience and 97% say afterwards “I now feel more positive about my work”.
Student outcomes are even more impressive, with student self-ratings before and after the session showing a 15% overall increase in ‘confidence making choices about my future work options’ and 21% overall increase in ‘confidence talking to adults I don’t know’.
Theresa has been managing the operation of Career WorkOut since it was launched in September 2015 and has taken increasing responsibility for leading the essential and challenging requirements of guest recruitment and session facilitation. In a short time she has achieved high levels of competence in both areas, receiving compliments from business team managers and school managers alike for her flair, commitment and straightforward approach to problem solving.
She has helped to develop Worktree’s reputation as a highly effective charity whose benefit to students’ employability and volunteers’ civic pride easily outweighs its costs (with no office base and minimal infrastructure). In a challenging economic environment, she has helped to secure sponsorship and donations which have been essential to the charity’s continuation and success.
She remains a constantly motivated and motivating member of a small team which values her dearly.
“We are extremely proud of Theresa’s achievement,” said Worktree’s Tom Bulman. “Bhupinder and I feel very lucky to be working alongside her as she’s multi-skilled, always cheerful and ready to laugh, positive about our growth ambition and incredibly resourceful in getting us over obstacles. Heck of a good singer too!”
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