ThinkForward and our partner, asset management firm ICG, have been celebrating after becoming the first recipients of the Sir Martyn Lewis Award the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards. The prestigious new award was inaugurated in recognition of the high calibre of this year’s applications and Sir Martyn’s long-standing service to the awards.

The partnership was celebrated for its work with young people at the London East Alternative Provision school (LEAP) in Tower Hamlets, east London. A ThinkForward coach supports students who have been identified as being at high risk of leaving school and becoming unemployed. ICG not only help to fund the programme, but also open their doors to young people who attend regular mentoring sessions with staff volunteers and valuable work experience opportunities. 

The partnership is now in its seventh year and this award recognises the achievements across the whole span of the collaboration.

The City of London said: “The judges were inspired to award this commendation to ThinkForward for their partnership with ICG Specialist Asset Management for their joint work with difficult to reach young people.”

ThinkForward at LEAP supports students like Rahat who were excluded from mainstream school. He has benefited from mentoring at ICG and, amongst other things, help from his coach with his personal statement and preparation for college interviews. Rahat secured five GCSEs and is now studying for a BTEC in motor vehicle maintenance.

ThinkForward Chairman Charlie Green commented: “ThinkForward and ICG are absolutely thrilled and honoured to win the new Sir Martyn Lewis Award.  Our work together is a great example of a true partnership that has brighter prospects for young people at its heart. Thanks to support from ICG, ThinkForward is working with some of London’s most disengaged young people and enabling and empowering them to develop the qualifications, work readiness skills and aspirations that will support them to get into sustained employment and create a better future.”

Benoit Durteste, Chief Executive Officer of ICG said: “I’d like to add my congratulations to ThinkForward and to the ICG employees who have contributed to their success.  We support ThinkForward in several ways; the most impactful is the time ICG volunteers give each month working with some very challenging young people and encouraging them to develop skills. By acting as positive role models, our mentors provide guidance and support to these young people and the results speak for themselves; over four years, our mentees are four and a half times more likely to achieve a Level 2 qualification.  The Sir Martyn Lewis Award is testament to the efforts of both ThinkForward and our ICG team and it’s fantastic their hard work has been recognised.”

John Bradshaw, LEAP headteacher, was delighted to see the partnership rewarded: “I am very familiar with the work of ThinkForward having worked with them in both mainstream schools and Alternative Provision. Winning the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award is fantastic recognition for the partnership between ThinkForward, ICG and LEAP. This partnership supports some of the most vulnerable and disaffected young people to transition into the world of work and begin to see some of the opportunities that can be available to them.

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