Brighton-based OneFamily employees mentor local teenagers to reach their dream jobs

Posted in: Corporate

Employees at Brighton-based financial services company, OneFamily, are volunteering with IntoUniversity to help teenagers succeed in higher education and reach their potential.

IntoUniversity supports young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods with higher education, employment and work-based mentoring. The charity’s mission is to provide local support that can break cycles of disadvantage and open up new opportunities for young people.

Konstantinos Mytafidis is one of the local students who has benefited from the IntoUniversity mentoring scheme.

Eighteen-year-old Konstantinos was paired with Olly Deacon, Senior Marketing Manager at OneFamily, in January 2023.

Olly has helped the Varndean College student prepare for his A Levels by working on exam techniques and revision strategies. Since finishing college, they have been working together to help Konstantinos prepare to start a degree in Civil Engineering later this year.

Konstantinos said, “I really wanted to go to university, but the amount of debt I would be in from student loans sounded pretty overwhelming. Olly helped me work through how to apply for financial support at university and explained how and when you start paying off student loans once you’ve started your career.

“He made me realise that going to university and achieving my dream of becoming a Civil Engineer was more manageable than I thought.”

In the monthly mentoring sessions, Olly has also been helping Konstantinos prepare for his future career. Together, they have been working on building a CV for future job applications and discussed what employers are looking for in potential candidates.

Konstantinos added, “Since having a mentor, I’ve learnt that work experience and volunteering is just as important to employers as academic grades. I used to volunteer at Hove Park Run and during the pandemic lockdowns I volunteered at St. Ann’s Well Cafe in Hove by packing food for the homeless.

“Olly recently gave me a tour of the OneFamily office. It was really interesting to see how things operate in a financial services company and hear about the different paths members of the team took to achieve a career in the industry. I’m now considering whether I’d like to go into the business world after university.

“I’m so glad that my college suggested applying for the IntoUniversity mentor scheme. Olly has helped me get my head around some big changes this year. I feel much less nervous about university now and I’m looking forward to learning more and meeting new people.”

IntoUniversity has 39 centres across England and Scotland that rely on local business support to help young people in disadvantaged areas reach their full potential.

Robyn O’Halloran commented on OneFamily’s involvement in the scheme, “As well as financially supporting the work we do, the team really appreciate the time volunteers have spent mentoring our students this year. We look forward to developing and growing the partnership in the coming years.”

OneFamily has a strong belief in social mobility and supporting the local community. The organisation encourages all employees to use three paid volunteering days a year to offer support in a charity that is close to their hearts.

Olly Deacon, said “Having an adult that a young person can relate to can be invaluable in helping to build their confidence, as well as their understanding of the university system. It’s so rewarding to be able to support and offer guidance to Konstantinos as he progresses from college to university and pursues his passion into his career.”

Notes to Editors

About OneFamily

OneFamily is a member-owned financial services company that offers lifetime ISAs, lifetime mortgages, junior ISAs, child trust funds, bonds and over 50s life cover.

We have over 45 years’ experience of being a trusted provider of financial solutions, with nearly 2 million customers and over £5.5 billion in funds under management at the end of 2022.

We are the UK’s biggest child trust fund provider, holding over 25% of the market.

Supporting our members and their communities

At OneFamily, we’re owned by our members for our members – and doing right by them is at the heart of our business.

We don’t have shareholders to pay dividends to, so we reinvest our profits to provide quality products and services for the benefit of our members.

We think that financial products should be accessible to everyone regardless of how much money they have to invest. That’s why our products have low investment levels and minimum contributions, giving more people the opportunity to save regardless of their circumstances.

Inspiring Better Futures

Our Inspiring Better Futures vision underpins our commitment to doing the right thing at every level for our members and customers, colleagues and communities.

The Inspiring Better Futures vision is built on 3 pillars – Members and customers, colleagues and communities.

Our focus is on long-term sustainability, so we can continue to be relevant and impactful to our members and communities.

Access to education and training

The costs of further education and training can be a barrier to many young people and their families. This is why we offer OneFamily customers the opportunity to apply for a Young Person’s Education Grant of up to £250 – for someone aged 15-19 – to help meet these costs, when they would otherwise struggle without financial assistance. The grant can be used towards study materials, specialist uniform, travel costs or a laptop/tablet.

Applications are open throughout the year, and grants are awarded following a random computerised draw.

We’ve improved the lives of over 3,400 people through our individual grants since 2015.

Charity partnerships

Supporting our communities has been a key focus of ours for many years. We’ve established partnerships with local and national charities that champion access to education and improving life chances for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

For more information on how we support our members and communities see:
Educational grants
Charity partnerships