Jayne Licari, Head of Brand and External Communications and Vicky Waters, Head of the Talent, Careers and Development team, both at BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, with the contribution of Sarah Mortiboys, Managing Director of Dallaglio RugbyWorks, reflect on their collaborative experience in supporting young people who are excluded from mainstream education.
About three years ago, the meeting between the BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK teams and those of Dallaglio RugbyWorks gave rise to a partnership with a positive impact, with the aim of changing the lives of disadvantaged young people through rugby and the values it instills. By using sport as a hook, young people develop life skills such as confidence and self-esteem, on the three year programme, to help them remain in education, training or employment.
This virtuous collaboration meets the commitments of BNP Paribas Personal Finance. One of these challenges is to have a positive impact, beyond our activities, by contributing to education and inclusion. As a part of this, the Group has set up a volunteer programme for employees: 1 Million Hours 2 Help, which the initiative with Dallaglio RugbyWorks forms part of.
The Dallaglio RugbyWorks approach is based on 4 pillars:
- The development of life skills
- Raising the aspirations and ambitions of young people
- Physical well-being
- Mental well-being
"From my perspective, it is a courageous organisation. We want to support young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds so that they can fully realise their future and their potential. Every young person is entitled to have a happy, positive and productive future. We help them grow, we give them confidence, and by extension, the opportunity to build a successful long life."
Sarah Mortiboys, Managing Director of Dallaglio RugbyWorks
In addition to sports, they have the full support of coaches who mentor them, to create a good relationship and trust. The employees of the partner companies provide opportunities for an insight into the world of work, helping them to plan for a better future.
Besides working with young people, the stimulating part of the partnership also lies in the benefits that BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK employees derive from it. They can get involved in initiatives such as the creation of career taster days, during which young people come to BNP Paribas Personal Finance offices, or the organisation of “Skill Sessions”. Before COVID, of course!
The objective of getting a good grounding in the reality of the business world, is to show them, first of all, that there is a wide range of people, with different skills that work there. Then, to value the importance of the right kind of attitude and importance of interpersonal skills. By doing this, young people see the opportunities and the type of skills needed. These moments of sharing are true career springboards!
“This kind of initiative helps young people achieve their goals in the workplace. Regardless of age, everyone likes the idea of making a difference, contributing to the solution, adding value. Participating in this programme encourages young people to go out to study and understand how they can actually work with companies like ours, and how they can bring value to them.”
Vicky Waters, Head of the Talent, Careers and Development team BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK
These are actions that the teams are seeking to create a fair and level playing field, to not deprive young people of their support because of the health crisis. This means, the next few years are crucial for young people. It's a key to strengthen the level of connection with young people and provide them with the help they need to rebuild after this incredibly difficult period. It is a collective challenge that BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK and Dallaglio RugbyWorks will take up to continue young people learning, and give them hope for the future.
“I would say that the Dallaglio RugbyWorks project is ambitious because they work with challenging groups of young people who don't have the same opportunities most people get. They really care about them, and they work to make a positive impact on the lives of these young people. The result is clear: they change lives, and they make me want to get up every morning, because I know we’re making a real difference together.”
Jayne Licari, Head of Brand and External Communications BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK