Macquarie mentoring programme 2017

Progression Manager Lucinda Meredith reports back from this year's performer mentoring programme with Macquarie:

Now completing its third year, Streetwise Opera and the Macquarie Group Foundation’s mentoring programme has successfully engaged 18 Streetwise Opera performers. The Macquarie Group Foundation is Streetwise Opera’s principal corporate supporter, having supported the charity since 2008. On this programme, Macquarie associate directors provide one-to-one structured mentoring for Streetwise Opera performers over a four month period, providing a safe space for them to explore a personal goal.

This exciting programme is developed with the Macquarie Associate Directors’ Leadership Programme, offering an excellent chance for both Macquarie staff and Streetwise performers to develop their skills. This year's programme commenced in January 2017 and all involved worked with commitment and passion to take positive steps towards their goals. Participants enjoyed success in many ways throughout the process, journeying with a collaborative spirit tinged with a lot of laughter and care.

Congratulations to our performers who completed a range of inspiring individual projects:

Lekan has a passion for writing, having worked as a journalist. Throug Streetwise Opera, he had also remembered his enjoyment of Shakespeare and acting at university. He therefore chose to focus on increasing his participation in arts and culture in London. Through the programme, Lekan has begun a creative writing course at City Lit, joined Cardboard Citizens theatre company and attended various study days and conferences, including events at National Theatre. He has also taken on an ambassador role with Streetwise Opera.

David had a desire to learn to play piano. His singing with Streetwise Opera had inspired him to pursue more musical avenues which are increasing his happiness and wellbeing. During the programme, David was able to secure a keyboard and music books of his own, and commence piano lessons at Morely College. Once he had set upon this course of action, he decided he would also like to progress towards working in cultural sector. David is now due to attend an interview at Southbank Centre, one of Streetwise Opera’s London collaborators, for a volunteer role.

Lilly is keen to become a nurse, having worked in the care sector. During the programme, she developed her CV and identified appropriate training courses she can access. She then relocated outside of London, but continued with the mentoring, which was then able to provide advice on where to access support networks, training and library facilities in her new location. Lilly accessed singing workshops with Streetwise at her day centre and also did soome volunteering in museums and at festivals which have added to her CV development.  

Sarah is a passionate advocate, performer and public speaker. She was keen to widen her reach to campaign for causes she is passionate about. Through the mentoring process, she identified social media as the perfect way for her to do this. Sarah developed many new IT skills including social networking and how to set up a Youtube channel. She also took on an ambassador role with Streetwise Opera, supporting other performers through work placements. Sarah is continuing to develop her creative skills following the programme.

Many thanks to our Macquarie mentors: Stuart, Eleanor, Lee, Marcus and Natalie.

Here’s what our performers say:

'The organisational prowess of everyone involved in the programme has been immense. The future is bright'

I wondered why they asked me to apply for this mentoring. I thought, what do they see in me? Then I thought if they see something in me – so will I!'

For more information about Streetwise Opera’s progression work, email Lucinda Meredith on lm@streetwiseopera.org.