To welcome in the New Year we invited a group of Social Care students from Bath Uni who are undertaking a Community Profiling project about motivations and barriers to volunteering. They posed a range of questions to our young people, including:
What’s your experience of the mentoring process?
The young people spoke with high regard about this and shared some of their own personal experiences.
Is masculinity a barrier to males volunteering as mentors?
Our young people suggested that males can feel “less of a man” and that their street cred can be impacted – this was mainly in terms of males allowing themselves to get vulnerable and leaving themselves exposed.
This was followed by a visit to see Dave Wiles at the Southside Youth Hub – with planning still well underway for our own project, we used this opportunity to gather some of Dave’s experience and ask him some pertinent questions.The key points raised were:
- Different venues in Bath / Temporary lease of a shop
- Set up an account for the Social Enterprise / Allow transparency, accountability.
- Public liability insurance
- Training – safeguarding, first aid, challenging behaviour
- How to advertise
- Begin fortnightly, build numbers and switch to a more regular weekly evening
- Ages of staff / volunteers – concerns over boundaries with the young people who attend
- Wifi and Xbox can be used as a positive tool to bring people together, rather than separate
- Use a sexual health nurse / Sirona for outreach
- Have an information point, but information is always best passed on from person to person.
Next week we welcome Bristol-based graphic design company Colour and Thing, who are generously helping the young people the identity and branding of the group and their manifesto for young people!