5 STAR Futures is DWF’s award-winning community engagement programme. It enables aspirational young people across the UK to unlock their potential by helping them increase their confidence; develop their employability skills; and become more work ready. For the last three years, DWF’s Manchester office has worked in partnership with All Hallows RC in Salford.
20 pupils were selected from over 60 applications to take part in interactive workshops on topics ranging from ‘resilience’ to ‘communication’, ‘confidence’ to ‘workplace behaviours’. The programme ended with the Awards Evening, at which the once-shy pupils gave a speech to a room full of their guests from home, DWF coaches from across the business and members of staff from All Hallows RC, including the Deputy Head Teacher and the Head of Year 10.
Sophie Hope, North West Education Manager for Business in the Community attended the Awards Evening. She said: “The courage of the students to stand up and speak in front of their families and peers was extraordinary. I was lucky to have participated in one of the 5 STAR Futures sessions in January and the growth in confidence of the students was obvious to see.”
Paula McIntosh-Kemp, Business Manager at All Hallows RC said of the programme: “At All Hallows RC High School we strive to provide our students with the very best opportunities to realise their academic potential and to maximise their employability skills. We are in our third year of the 5 STAR Futures programme and the impact has been fantastic. DWF provides experienced professionals from its Manchester office who come into school and work with our students to support the development of their confidence and employability skills and to enable them to become more work ready. The feedback from the students is always great and our partnership with DWF is now an important aspect of our employability programme within the school.”
The 5 STAR Futures programme in Manchester is led by Sean Monks, a Solicitor in DWF’s Commercial Insurance department. This year, he has also expanded the programme to support the school’s BTEC Business course. Sean said: “The pupils taking part in this year’s 5 STAR Futures have demonstrated in a remarkable way all of the key attributes that the programme looks to develop. They have shown great communication skills by speaking in front of a classroom full of people in every workshop. They have shown that they understand what skills today’s employers are looking for by working on and exhibiting those skills. Most of all – and which is the main purpose of the programme – they have grown in confidence around others and have actively engaged in their own self-improvement. The pupils have been a real credit to All Hallows and DWF has been very fortunate to work with such inspirational young men and women. I hope in years to come that the pupils continue to display the positive attitude and self-efficacy that they have developed throughout the programme and I wish them well with whatever they decide to do with their future.”