Al Rayan Bank supports local Mosaic charity to help young people in the West Midlands reach their full potential

18 April 2016

Al Rayan Bank has been working closely with mentoring charity Mosaic to inspire young people in the West Midlands region to achieve their best. Most recently, the Bank provided the venue for the regional finals of the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge competition, where the Chairman of Judges was Mohammed Gamil, Chief Operating Officer at Al Rayan Bank and Iain Crawford, the Bank’s Chief Risk Officer, provided the keynote address. Al Rayan Bank actively encourages its employees to develop their own personal and professional skills through volunteering for Mosaic and other local charitable programmes, and has also hosted Mosaic information evenings, where potential volunteer mentors can learn more about the charity and what they do.

Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, Mosaic inspires young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential. The charity achieves this through a number of unique programmes in primary and secondary school settings, which are delivered by volunteers who act as inspirational role models. By linking young people with volunteers in this way, the charity aims to bridge the aspirations-attainment gap by boosting young people’s confidence, self-efficacy and long-term employability.

Sultan Choudhury, CEO, Al Rayan Bank said of the partnership: “We have a long history of working with Mosaic, and I know, both through my own personal experience and speaking to members of the Al Rayan Bank team, that working with Mosaic West Midlands has been a hugely rewarding experience for us. Mosaic gives us the opportunity to make a real difference in the communities within which we live and work, and we look forward to continuing to work with them for many years to come.”

Mosaic’s largest mentoring programme – typically reaching over 4,500 students nationally – is the annual Mosaic Enterprise Challenge competition, and teams led by Al Rayan Bank have twice made it to the national finals in London. The competition teaches students aged 11-16 to learn about establishing and running a business through a business simulation game. The competition is unique in that students benefit from being mentored by experienced business professionals, who pass on their knowledge and skills about various aspects of business. Al Rayan Bank is part of a nationwide team of more than 300 mentors, drawn from professional services firms such as KPMG and SGH Martineau, non-profit associations such as Midland Heart and government departments such as HM Revenue and Customs and the Department of Communities.

Marklew Rice, Head of Product Management, Al Rayan Bank, who has twice led teams to become finalists in the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, said: “I have been volunteering for Mosaic for three years and I can honestly say it’s been great fun. I was expecting it to be a really fulfilling experience because of the element of giving something back, and it is; but I was surprised at how much I learned, and continue to learn, from the students. They are motivated, enthusiastic and keen to develop and it is really inspiring to work with them. In fact, I’ve organised information evenings at the Bank to encourage my colleagues to get involved, not only so they can experience the benefits for themselves but also because Mosaic can only continue to do the great work it does with the continued support of volunteer mentors.”

Becky Mitchell, Mosaic’s West Midlands Regional Manager said: “Partnerships with local companies are critical to our success – we literally could not continue to do the work we do, positively impacting the lives of young people, without their support. Al Rayan Bank has been extremely supportive and helped us on a number of fronts, from providing several volunteers for our programmes, to hosting our events, to providing executive input as judges. We would like to thank them for their continued support.”

Al Rayan Bank has been a pioneer of British retail Islamic banking for 12 years, and is dedicated to strong, faith-based ethics and great customer service. The first wholly Sharia compliant retail bank in the UK, it currently has over 60,000 customers and has earned a reputation for providing innovative products which appeal to people of any faith. Its ethical approach extends to its workforce: in December 2015 the Bank was awarded the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating its commitment to realising the potential of its employees, and it is a Living Wage employer.

Al Rayan Bank has been recognised as an ethical alternative to conventional banks by the Move Your Money campaign, and Ethical Consumer magazine, which rated it in the top ten ethical current account providers. Last year Al Rayan Bank was named by Global Finance magazine as one of the best Islamic banks in the world, in its annual list of the World’s Best Is lamic Financial Institutions, and by Trade Finance Global as the Best Islamic Finance Services in Western Europe.

Mosaic West Midlands continually recruits companies and mentors to support its primary and secondary programmes. To find out more about its programmes, or to register your interest, please contact rebecca.mitchell@bitc.org.uk or yvonne.palmer@bitc.org.uk.

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