CYFLE CYMRU’S successful Peer Mentoring Academy is to be presented with a special award by Princess Anne.
The Academy is one of only 48 training initiatives to receive the Princess Royal Training Award – which recognises outstanding workplace learning – throughout the UK this year.
The scheme offers a practical mix of on-the-job training and formal qualifications, and is available to all mentors working on the EU-funded Cyfle Cymru project throughout Wales. It aims to enhance the professional and personal development opportunities available to mentoring staff, all of whom have their own lived experience of substance misuse and mental health conditions.
The Academy is one of just a handful of charity and third sector programmes – and one of only half a dozen based in Wales – to receive the coveted award, and joins major global corporates like GSK, RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Tata Steel and IBM on the list of recipients. The award follows a rigorous application process, which included a formal assessment visit and testimonials from project staff.
All peer mentors are automatically enrolled into the Academy when they start work with Cyfle Cymru, and progress through the programme’s three tiers as they build their experience and expertise.
Project director Lynn Bennoch said Cyfle Cymru’s peer mentors were “fantastic assets” and crucial to the delivery of the project.
“Cyfle Cymru’s success is based on the talents and hard work of our peer mentors – and we are so pleased that our efforts to support the professional development of these staff have been recognised in such a high-profile way,” she said.
“The Cyfle Cymru Peer Mentoring Academy offers our mentors the chance to access further opportunities at work, and to continue to develop their career. It also delivers results for our project by increasing our capacity and enhancing the outcomes we are able to achieve.
“We’re thrilled that our programme has been recognised by the Princess Royal Training Awards, and that Cyfle Cymru can be counted amongst such an impressive cohort of recipients.”
The application was backed by CAIS chief executive Clive Wolfendale.
“Cyfle Cymru’s peer mentoring model is now widely accepted as the most effective means of taking disadvantaged individuals on a journey to stable and independent personal prosperity,” he said.
“There is no-one better placed to support a participant than a guide and confidant who has made the journey themselves. The Cyfle Cymru Peer Mentoring Academy ensures that mentors have the tools, confidence and support to deliver this transformational work.”
The award, which will be presented at a special ceremony in London later this year, is an honour for UK employers which have created a lasting impact by successfully linking their skills development needs to business performance.
Some 150 recipients from a wide range of sectors have achieved the award scheme’s standard of excellence in training since the programme launched in 2016. Awards are made following an adjudication of the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission – which is composed of seven leading figures in the business and learning and development community and HRH The Princess Royal, who is the President of the awards’ organising body, City & Guilds Group.
City & Guilds chief executive Chris Jones said: “Once again, we have seen a remarkable range of successful applications for the Princess Royal Training Awards standard.
“From the public sector to global corporates and from creating talent pipelines to developing individual resilience, all evidencing the very real impact investing in upskilling staff delivers. Congratulations to all those organisations who have achieved the required standard of excellence – you are an inspiration to us all!”
Cyfle Cymru is delivered by members of the DACW Consortium.
Cyfle Cymru is part of the Welsh Government’s Out of Work Service, supported by the European Social Fund.