The pandemic has been tough on everyone and we’re all doing everything we can to support each other in whatever way we can at the moment. And while at Guidant Global we’re providing the flexibility and assistance that our staff are asking for, we are always keen to do more.
In fact, as our staff faced yet another lockdown in the UK at the beginning of this year, our senior management and people services teams wanted to go above and beyond to ensure we’re supporting working parents across the business.
Introducing Impellam Superstars
At the beginning of January 2021, we asked our working parents what more we can do for them, and the feedback was on the whole a need for flexibility, which was already on offer for all staff. But for our Global Head of Talent Engagement, Nicky Hale, this wasn’t enough:
“It’s been a tough time for us all lately, but for working parents it has been incredibly hard trying to juggle home-schooling and work. The feedback we had from our parents was that they just needed flexibility in their hours, which we of course ensured they had. But we didn’t feel that was enough. Our people services and senior management teams came together to discuss what else we could do, and Impellam Superstars was born.”
Under this scheme, we reached out to the entire Impellam Group – which includes Guidant Global – to build a group of ‘teachers’ willing to give up an hour of their time to run a lesson with a group of similar-aged children to give parents a break.
Once we had a list of teachers and class groups, we set out a full teaching schedule, giving every child access to four sessions a week which ranged from PE, languages and creative writing, to more entertaining sessions such as treasure hunts, Disney quizzes and even a game of 'Simon Says', run by our own CEO, Simon Blockley. To date, the programme has seen around 70 children access a variety of sessions.
Supporting working parents: a community approach
And everyone’s been involved, as Nicky explained:
“We’ve involved everyone across the business where we can – in fact Simon Blockley really got behind the idea when we first suggested it and rolled it out across the entire Impellam group, rather than just Guidant Global. The feedback has been fantastic so far and it’s really refreshing for everyone involved. The kids get to interact with new children and ‘teachers’ and parents get some well-deserved respite – even if it’s just to have a hot cup of tea rather than a cold one!”
The feedback so far has been amazing. Teachers including Nicky and Simon have expressed how welcome and refreshing it has been during yet another lockdown to take part in a new activity. But for the parents, this extra support has been invaluable:
“The Impellam Superstars initiative has been brilliant fun for my daughter - and me too! The Zoom sessions have slotted in really well around home schooling and still allow me to carry on with my work too. They have really helped to break up the day and give my daughter something to look forward to; phonics and maths home lessons just aren’t exciting when Mum or Dad try to teach it! She’s joined in with a virtual treasure hunt, made a monster out of Play-Doh and learned all about verbs and adjectives whilst helping to re-write a quirky version of Cinderella. Impellam employees have come up with some brilliantly creative ‘lessons’ to teach and we really look forward to joining them each day.” – Steph & Chloe (aged 4 ¾)
“I am sure many of you can understand the hardship of home schooling and working but my company has really gone out of its way to help working parents! The Impellam Superstars programme is amazing. The children are put in to suitable age groups and allocated weekly classes doing activities such as quizzes, language lessons and imaginative writing tasks. This has made such a difference and my 11-year-old loves it. I feel proud to work for such a great company, that goes out of its way to support its staff during these challenging times.” – Jodie Osterley
“I was nervous at first but I have now met my group who are all nice and a similar age to me. I have attended quizzes, created stories and everyone is so friendly and kind. My mum likes it too as it keeps me off my computer playing games.” – Sasha Osterley aged 11
"Both my eight-year-old and my five-year-old have joined in with the sessions and have found them really engaging and fun! They both come off the session looking forward to the next! Such a fantastic offering to help entertain our little ones during these hard times - and a chance to meet new faces!" – Ali Worsfold
“Impellam Superstars has been fantastic, for us it is almost three hours a week where Millie can take part in something fun, learn something new and I can crack on with work without feeling guilty. I think she would like to attend Impellam Superstars full time!” – Lauren Sewell
“I have to say as a parent I have certainly seen the benefit of signing my son onto this, he gets super excited about it, especially when he won the Amazon voucher which was totally unexpected. I have seen his confidence increase especially after the first session – he feels he is part of a special club and it’s learning with fun. Thank you for taking the time out to do this, it’s definitely been worthwhile.” – Arti Gohil
Putting people first
We are a people first business and pandemic or not, will always support our staff. The mental wellbeing of our staff and their children is a priority in these tough times and we will continue to run this education programme for our working parents and their children as long as it is necessary.
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