Hiscox Staff Sign Up As YouthNet Mentors

October 8, 2014

A team of volunteers from a Bermuda reinsurance company are helping to give back to the community by becoming mentors for some of the Island’s young people, with staff at Hiscox volunteering to become reading mentors for YouthNet, which runs school-based mentoring programmes throughout the Island.

Ross Nottingham, Senior Vice President Underwriting, for Hiscox’s Bermuda reinsurance business, said he had started volunteering with YouthNet a year ago after meeting Clare Mello, the charity’s executive director, and seeing some statistics on reading levels.

YN Hiscox pic

They showed that in the 2007 Young Adult Literacy Survey, 64 percent of young men and 54 percent of young women [aged 16 to 25] scored below the internationally accepted literacy level and at the time of the survey were considered to be at risk.

“It was astonishing to see those stats and it seemed a pretty easy step to give up a small amount of time to work to make a difference in some small way,” said Mr Nottingham.

After working with the charity, Mr Nottingham suggested forming a committee at Hiscox whose members would volunteer to help YouthNet.

Mr Nottingham added: “The idea was to form a team of mentors to follow a class of pupils throughout primary school. It is so important for these kids to have both continuity and positive influence in their lives which is what we hope to offer. ”

Twelve staff at the firm have volunteered and they will link up with Northlands Primary School to help with reading.

Bermudian Ashley Robinson, an underwriter trainee at Hiscox, is a member of the committee and said: “I really wanted to give back to something in the community. I lived away for 11 years and came back to Bermuda last year and I think helping YouthNet was a good opportunity that landed on our doorstep.”

Fellow Bermudian and volunteer, Selange Gitschner, the marketing and events coordinator at Hiscox, added: “Bermuda is not in the best situation at the moment and the age group we are reaching out to is the age group we can impact the most.”

YouthNet was established in 1996 with the aim of unlocking the potential in Bermuda’s youth, stemming from the belief that all young people possess strengths and abilities necessary to succeed in life.

Ms Mello said: “We are delighted that Hiscox has taken this step to help us and provided such generous support. Students look forward to seeing their mentors each week and I know the Northlands students are very excited about meeting their new mentors.

“We have a target to have reading mentors in all classes in all four Hamilton primary schools we would also like to involve more companies in this model.

“I would encourage others to take the step that Hiscox has taken and help to change the lives of our young people.”
You can contact YouthNet at 297-5400 or email Ms Mello clare.mello@youthnet.bm. You can also follow YouthNet on Facebook.

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