In June this year MCLaSS won an Award from Volunteer Wellington for ‘Business and Community Partnership’ for its partnership with iSentia.
This Award celebrates how business and community groups can come together in a spirit of partnership, developing a deep and continuing understanding of each other’s needs, skills, aims and activities and finding ways to work together collaboratively.
Manager of MCLaSS Mary Collie-Holmes says, “We’re delighted to receive this Award.
We really appreciate having the regular contribution from the iSentia people to our class activities, and it’s great that their commitment to the project is recognised in this way.”
The partnership started in 2012 when iSentia approached Volunteer Wellington, looking for a partnership through which their Wellington staff could make a direct difference to people’s lives. Small groups of iSentia people visit one of the classes at MCLaSS once a week.
The partnership provides regular opportunities for MCLaSS learners to speak in English with a variety of people and has a significant effect on building their confidence and increasing their fluency.
Lizzie Hendy of iSentia says, “The partnership is a great fit for iSentia because it allows us to give something back to the community.”
iSentia is the Asia-Pacific region’s leading media intelligence company which monitors radio, television, broadcast and online news from across a wide range of countries.
Mary says, “The effectiveness of our work is greatly enhanced through the involvement of volunteers who work alongside the teachers and coaches, providing extra learning opportunities for everybody in a class and one-to-one support for those who need it.”
MCLaSS teacher Jinnie Potter says, “I’ve been very blessed with my iSentia volunteers and their contribution to the programme. Students’ eyes would light up as they found that they could successfully communicate with these volunteers who always responded warmly.”
iSentia volunteer Jolene Simoes says, “The students are always wonderfully enthusiastic and their stories of struggle and strength have been heart warming.”