On Friday 16th November 2012 WOHAA winners Team Aquila took up Her Majesty’s kind invitation to attend Buckingham Palace to personally present a Diamond Jubilee card and mementos from their home town of Malvern to celebrate the occasion.
The Sixth Form students, Alice Quinn, Holly Makin, Rebecca Connell, Rebecca Raby-Smith, Jess Coulman and Amy Cooke – collectively known as team ‘Aquila’ – are from Malvern College and had been fundraising for the Wings of Hope charity through a fundraising competition, ‘The Wings of Hope Achievement Awards’ (WOHAA).
Team leader Rebecca Raby-Smith was elected by her team mates to deliver the A3 sized signed card and a unique jeroboam of Hollywell Malvern Spring Water, both arriving in a Morgan car, to Her Majesty. Wings of Hope Co-founder, Dr Sri Ram, and Smruti Sriram, the creator of WOHAA, were also in attendance.
Team Aquila took part in WOHAA 2011/12 by conducting a range of fund and awareness raising activities. They participated in ‘Santa’ and mud runs, donated profits from a baby-sitting service and sold Wings of Hope wrist bands, as well as conducting the Diamond Jubilee project. Their Jubilee work involved the students organising for their fellow students and members of the local community to sign a card for Her Majesty, gathering over 2,000 signatures in total. To achieve this they managed to secure a table in a local supermarket foyer, collecting signatures for the card and donations for the Wings of Hope at the same time. They also convinced a designer to help them create the card and a local printing company to sponsor its production.
Most impressive of all, they approached Morgan Motor Company and Holywell Malvern Spring Water – both being institutions synonymous with their hometown of Malvern – who donated a car to be used for the presentation and a specially-designed bottled gift, respectively. The team’s effort and dedication were outstanding and their commitment meant that they won ‘The Most Awareness Raised’ Award through WOHAA.
On the day of her visit to the Palace, Rebecca was chauffer driven in the Morgan – from Malvern to London – where she met with the Wings of Hope team at the Royal Automobile Club. All commented on what an amazing sight it was to see the car driving through the Palace gates, before Wings of Hope and Rebecca met with Chief Clerk, Christopher Sandamas. Rebecca expressed her hope, on behalf of team Aquila, that Her Majesty ‘enjoys the card and water- it comes with enormous thanks from everyone in Malvern for everything that she has done for us over the last 60 years.’
Speed Mentoring: The World of Work – The Next Generation
On Sunday 11th November 2012 young professionals, students and teachers from across the country gathered at the Royal College of Surgeons in Holborn for an afternoon of innovative ‘speed mentoring’. 60 young professionals from over 50 top firms and industries came to offer advice and guidance to secondary school students, this was a careers event like no other.
The concept of speed mentoring is a fast-paced format which ensured that students moved from table to table in ten minute slots. The format allowed students direct interactive advice and guidance from young professionals across numerous industries.
The event, Speed Mentoring: The World of Work – The Next Generation was free for students to attend, offering them a unique chance to explore a range of different professions including Banking, Law, Accountancy, Fashion, PR, Event Management, Acting, DJ’ing, Pharmacy, Sustainability, Music Production, Engineering, Dancing, Venture Capital, Veterinary Medicine, Interior Design, Medicine and Publishing, with one-to-one professional guidance over a two hour period.
“When are you ever going to get a vet in the same room as a BBC News anchor or a landscape gardener and an economist from the Bank of England, or a headline comedian from the Edinburgh Fringe alongside an Editor from Picador publishing, NHS doctors and engineers from MIT all in one room? The breadth and quality of the mentors was beyond my wildest dreams and I couldn’t have asked for a more qualified group to impart their advice and experience to the students we had attending”
– Smruti, Head of the Professionals’ Network and event organiser.
Edward Lumley Hall, Royal College of Surgeons, Holborn, London
Our incredible line up of mentors
Mentors arrive at the venue (Left to right): Ian Wellby (Goldman Sachs), Matt Lacey (Actor, writer, comedian) and Ben Tansey (Elliott Advisors)
Kiss FM’s AJ King kick-started the event by welcoming an enthusiastic crowd of 14-20 year olds
Smruti welcomes the attendees with an inspiring speech about the future world of work – “The Wings of Hope is proud to host events like today’s, giving students the chance to embrace aspirations and encourage ambition”.
Journalism table featuring: Babita Sharma (Journalist/Presenter BBC News & BBC World News) Leo Kelion (Technology editor of BBC news website) and Rebecca Burns (radio reporter and newsreader for Russian global service radio and a researcher for BBC’s Radio 4.)
Publishing table featuring: Bella Whittington (Random House) and Kris Doyle (editor at Picador)
Engineering table featuring: Nabori Santiago (Siemens SES) and Neil D’Souza-Mathew (The Technology Partnership)
Students eagerly move to the next industry tables
Mentors give practical about industries, organisations and careers. Inspiring students to do what they did and aim high when planning and making important decisions about their futures.
Smruti sounds the gong to mark the next round of mentoring
Strategy Consultancy and Healthcare: Toral Pandya (Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children) and Pulkit Agrawal (Booze & Co)
The Wings of Hope would like to thank the group of amazing young mentors who made this event such a success!
The Wing of Hope Achievement Award winners of 2011 have just returned from a fantastic trip of a lifetime to Chennai in Southern India. This year two teams took the trip to India; team ‘Evolution’ consisting of 3 boys from 3 schools (ACS International School, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and Merchant Taylor’s School) and Team ‘Light Side of the Moon’ made of 6 boys from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in London.
Team Evolution’s award winning ideas included a dinner dance and fashion show, trick or treating, snow shovelling and tutoring to name a few! Light Side of the Moon organised a dinner dance, walked 15 miles in shorts, socks and sandles, and, if that wasn’t enough walking, they were also sponsored to walk on broken glass!
Shivankit Hora, Karan Gupta and Amar Sehgal from team Evolution jetted off with Anand Dhamecha, Rikin Shah, Paras Shah, Rohit Bhatia, Tej Malde and Vishaal Patel from Light Side of the Moon to Chennai in August. They were accompanied with the co-founders of Wings of Hope, Mrs Rajni Sriram and Dr Sri Ram.
The boys had the chance to teach India children about life in London and Britain, showing them pictures from books and personal photographs. The boys taught students of all ages and their classes were packed with fun and entertaining activities for the children, as the boys designed and lead lessons themselves.
One of the winners, Shivankit Hora, said,
“We’re here in India in the school and it is really amazing. I did not expect it to be like this – it’s really, really big and beautifully decorated and all the children here are so enthusiastic about learning and education. I would recommend WOHAA because it’s the children’s way of giving back to other children around the world.”
In Chennai the Boys were very privileged to meet the Deputy High Commissioner of Britain, Mr. Mike Nithavrianakis, for Tea! The Deputy High Commissioner was very impressed by their achievements and gave them the benefits of working for and linking up with India as it is an up and coming country with a lot of scope for the future.
Whilst in Delhi, the Boys once again had the opportunity to meet the Minister from the Ministry of Indian Overseas. Once again a huge array of refreshments were provided and the opportunity for a photo shoot.
Here are further comments from Paras Shah:
“Overall, this trip was fantastic, and a real eye-opener for all involved. The experience we gained in teaching and interacting with the kids was invaluable, and taught us to appreciate everything we have. It made me realise the importance of education, and how it is desperately needed all around the globe. I can also understand how hard it is to be a teacher! It was great to see the work Wings of Hope are doing out there, and I recommend the achievement award to all future hopefuls! “