A Leeds accountant has been acknowledged by royalty for his mentoring role over the past four years, as he picked up a prestigious award in London.
Waseem Khan, from Adel, was named the national Mentor of the Year last month following his volunteering role within the Mosaic charity.
Receiving his trophy from Princess Badiya bint El Hassan of Jordan, of whom the award is named after, the 29-year-old had previously been named Yorkshire’s Mentor of the Year three months ago.
Waseem, who is also a trustee for the Hamara Centre, has worked in schools over the past year, showing disadvantaged pupils what employment opportunities could exist after education.
As well as speaking in schools, he also organised a ‘World of Work Day’, whereby Year 10 and 11 students were invited into a working office to see ‘how things worked in the real world’.
Having travelled to the London awards ceremony alone, expecting not to win, Waseem says he could not believe it when he name was called out.
“I’m ecstatic to have won, and a little surprised because the calibre of the other finalists was so amazing,” he said.
“I’ve been mentoring on the Enterprise Challenge programme for four years now and it’s just been a great opportunity to share my experiences and act as a role model for the young people of my community.
“The most rewarding part of the role is every year seeing the students grow and likewise I learn new things from them. They often start the programme a little nervous but by the end their confidence has grown hugely and they believe that they can achieve anything.”
Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007, Mosaic’s mentoring programmes aims to create opportunities for young people growing up in deprived communities, with volunteer mentors acting as role models.
The Mentor of the Year Award recognises individuals that have excelled in their roles as mentors over the past 12 months. Having begun his role in 2011, Waseem has helped hundreds of children prepare for the working world and has opened their eyes to new and exciting opportunities.
He said: “I don’t do the mentoring for awards but to help the children. It all began through work and from there it has just grown into something I love doing.
“I never thought I would winner the regional title so to have the national award as well is really special.”
He added: “A big thank you goes to all the people who have supported me, my work – Hentons Accountants, Pudsey Grangefield School, and of course my friends and family.”