In 2019/20 we held 267 individual mentoring sessions with young people.
Our sterling volunteer mentors collectively have seen 24 mentees over this last year. A mentee on average has had 11 sessions. During this programme of sessions, work will have been done toward the individual's improved self-esteem, greater emotional resilience and better positive relationships according to the outcomes we look for in our Three Crowns model.
This holistic approach seeks to equip young people with life skills for the future and support them whatever their circumstances. This is essential as often the circumstances are impossible for a young person to change. We continue to use the three crowns at the beginning and end of our programmes, this can help to identify challenges to talk about as
well as a record for seeing a journey travelled and improvements made.
Having an opportunity to talk about absolutely anything is valuable to most young people and priceless to some. Our volunteers are also of the belief that talking helps which is why they so generously give of their time. In turn we take time to continue to support our volunteers in the important role they fulfil.
We like to listen more than talk!
It is a continuing challenge to recruit more volunteers for this sensitive and worthwhile work. Our protocols are robust and take time to follow, so finding people who have the time and skill for this will always be difficult. We have a set training plan for all new mentors that covers working with young people, active listening (we like to listening more than talk!), understanding outcomes, processes and available tools to use and allows for mentors to understand their own motivations and experiences.
Making the case for schools to contribute to funding for mentoring can prove difficult. Education is changing and has seen the government require schools to train existing staff in mental health. However we believe we offer a provision that is complimentary and different to schools intervention and combined with making links to our other clubs and activities allows young people to have an ongoing support network throughout their school life. Some young people will start to attend our After School club after a programme of mentoring and appreciate the access to a youth worker after a challenging day.
D reported that they did not have a very good relationship with their mum. They said they did not actually like their mum and felt that she was always criticising them. D was supported to identify that because there was just the two of them at home things could be a bit intense. D developed strategies to find some personal space. This included
getting involved in extra-curricular activities at school and joining a sports club. In talking to a mentor D could sound out different ways of looking at things and this helped D with understanding perspectives. It resulted in learning ways to communicate with their mum kindly and positively to find a solution. D says it was really helpful to have a space where they could talk about what they wanted to and say anything and not be judged. D had a total of nine sessions and D said things were better at home. D's mum had also phoned into school to say the same.
THE FULL REPORT AND ACCOUNTS
Want to know even more detail? Including the Chairman's comment, how we are funded and how we spend that funding?
Our full report and accounts can be downloaded from the Charities Commission website.