Meet the Newcastle sisters trying to inspire next generation to achieve high-flying careers

Five sisters are trying to inspire the next generation of doctors, lawyers, dentists and accountants by running a mentoring scheme with a focus on helping those from deprived backgrounds.

The Mahtab sisters, from Newcastle, have founded 5 Diamonds Mentorship, a not-for-profit scheme for young people aged between 14 and 18, with workshops running across the country.

It comes from the Bengali "Ponchoratna", which means "five Diamonds," and was a nickname given to the sisters by their father when they were growing up.

The Mahtab sisters, who set up the 5 Diamonds Mentorship to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The sisters, who grew up in the Gosforth area of the city, now live across the UK.

They were privately educated thanks to their father's success in running restaurants. They say they recognise not everyone has the same privileges growing up but that should not be a barrier to achieve their career goals.

The idea for the scheme came from Dr Surita Mahtab Choudhury, who is a dental surgeon in Manchester.

She said: "It’s quite emotional because we do see a lot of students struggling out there and we just think, how can we help all the students who weren't as lucky as us?"

The Mahtab sisters, from Newcastle, now live around the UK but come together to mentor youngsters. Credit: Family

Criminal barrister Sumita Mahtab Shaikh said everyone is welcome and they have a particular focus on those from disadvantaged backgrounds and offer bursaries.

She added: "We will send out targeting a variety of different schools and colleges just to give every student the opportunity to have the resource which we have had growing up."

Workshops which give an insight into the sister's professions and offer tips and advice with CVs and applying for university have taken place in Manchester, London and Newcastle.

Dr Kabita Mahtab Shah, who is also a dental surgeon in Manchester, said the days of high-flying professions being only for those with money are over.

She said: "I feel like when I say was at university several students had parents who are dentists and that is a stepping stone into it but I think nowadays universities don't pay any attention to if your dad's a dentist, mum's a dentist.

"They look at you as an individual and what can you do to sell yourself to me."

Dr Najibah Mahtab is an oncologist at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Dr Najibah Mahtab, a consultant oncologist at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, hopes one day to see her students working in the region's hospitals.

She said: "The students are so excited and so passionate about it, even at that young age. You can see in the workshops how engaged they are and that passion comes through. It makes us more inspired ourselves to help them get where they want to."

Youngest sister Tanveer Mahtab-Ahmed, a chartered accountant in Essex, said it is also a great way for them to keep their sisterly bond and help others.

She said: "As sisters were not just sisters but we’re close friends. We’re all married off now living in different locations but we’ve set something up and we'll always be together."

The Mahtab sisters at their family home in Newcastle. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Father Mahtab Miah said: "I'm so proud of them, what they have achieved and who they are.

"They are selfless rather than selfish. They may be fortunate and they be have maybe privilege but there are others with potential and talents around the corner, which they haven't had the opportunity.

"If they can help a little bit all along their lives, that will be a charity act I always believe in."

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