"Two National Grid staff, who between them have notched up a decade helping local youngsters brush up on their numeracy skills, have been honoured for their efforts.
Business and community charity Leicestershire Cares has presented Golden Heart Awards to Jemima Matthews and Shirley Colkin, who work at the company's offices in Hinckley.
The duo have been taking part in the Leicestershire Cares Number Partner project for the last five years. Jemima visits St Mary's School in Hinckley every week, playing specially developed numeracy games with pupils, while Shirley helps pupils at Westfield Junior School.
'We love working with the children, and they really look forward to seeing us,' said Shirley. 'In fact, they're usually ready and waiting for us to arrive! It's very gratifying to be able to see the children's numeracy abilities improving over the weeks, and the teachers tell us that the Numbers Partners project delivers great results.'
'Both Jemima and I are delighted to have received our Golden Heart Awards – they're a lovely bonus to add to the rewards we get every week simply from working with the children and helping them to progress.'
Leicestershire Cares estimates that they have worked with over 100 children, all of whom they have inspired with their enthusiasm, commitment and passion for maths.
'Without support from community-minded employees like Jemima and Shirley, the Numbers Partner project simply couldn't operate,' said Jo Hudson, Number Partners Coordinator at Leicestershire Cares. 'We're enormously grateful to them and it's a real pleasure to present them with their Golden Heart Awards as some small recognition of the amount of time their given up, and the amount of effort they've put in over the last five years.'
The project helps schoolchildren between the ages of seven and eleven to improve their confidence with number skills. Employee volunteers visit schools once a week and play specially developed maths games with children who have been chosen by their teachers. The games are designed to be fun, and they encourage the children to practice and consolidate the concepts they have learnt in the classroom in a relaxed, small group session.