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Mentors and students celebrate 15 years of Kingston University's Beyond Barriers programme

Posted Thursday 30 May 2024

Mentors and students celebrate 15 years of Kingston University's Beyond Barriers programme Attendees at the Beyond Barriers event

Around 100 participants from this years Beyond Barriers mentoring programme gathered at Kingston University’s award-winning Town House building on Thursday evening to enjoy a double celebration.

Mentors, mentees and university staff were gathered to mark the end of this year’s programme and celebrate 15 years of Beyond Barriers student mentoring.

Beyond Barriers is a six-month programme for students from under-represented groups to help them reach their full potential. The mentors come from a wide variety of industries, and around two thirds are graduates from Kingston University.

The event was hosted by Louisa Green, Executive Director for Students, who praised the hard work of both the mentors and the mentees as well as the positive impact the programme has for the students. “The feedback from students is overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “The skills they gain, the insights into their respective industries and how much the students grow in confidence through this experience is so valuable.”

At the event guests heard from students and their mentors about their experiences over the past year. 

Mentor and senior lecturer in education at Kingston University Christine Budhan-Mills described why she signed up to be a mentor on the scheme. “What I enjoy most about the scheme is seeing your mentee not only fulfill their professional goals, but their personal ones as well. Even if your mentee is not from the exact same field as you I’ve found coaching them over the years a rewarding experience.”

Mentee Abigail Galbraith, a second-year film making student described the biggest lesson she learned from artist mentor Jane Glennie. “She really instilled a confidence in me to go up and network with people that I’d never met before. I’ve grown in confidence so much thanks to Beyond Barriers.”

The mentor and mentee of the year awards were presented at the event. Mandie Johnson, an art director and graphic designer was named mentor of the year while English student Lilly Grant was given the mentee of the year award.

All mentors and mentees were given the chance to nominate their counterpart for the award before a panel of Kingston University staff selected the winners.

An Outstanding Contribution award was given to Sue Connell for her many years of service and commitment as a Beyond Barriers mentor.

Guests were updated on Kingston University’s Future Skills programme by Student Development and Graduate Success Director, Ali Orr and Student Services Director, Jenni Woods gave an update on Kingston’s Access and Participation plan.

After the speeches and awards, guests moved to the 5th floor of the Town House to network and enjoy a drinks and canape reception.

Category: Students

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