This is a county famous for its beauty and heritage, but it includes areas of high deprivation and rural isolation. For a young person affected by poverty, family breakdown, physical and mental health issues or other difficulties, this is not a beautiful place.
Young people are accepted for mentoring who are affected by multiple challenges at home. This can place them at a number of risks: disengagement from education; few positive role models; anti-social or criminal behaviour; social isolation; and poor physical or mental wellbeing.
Here’s what we helped young people achieve last year
85% were observed to be or reported feeling safer
88% reported improved confidence and self esteem
85% were positively engaged in education, employment or training
80% reported new community connections
73% showed improved physical wellbeing & 73% improved emotional wellbeing
70% reported higher aspirations for their future
The majority of our funds go directly to the practitioners who support young people and their mentors.
Each practitioner has a full caseload of matched pairs. They work with newly referred mentees to understand and meet their needs, and they support each young person’s exit plan at the end of mentoring.
Throughout the year, they keep closely involved in each mentoring partnership. They manage cases with more complex needs and multi-agency support, focused always on the interests of the young person. They organise activities and ensure young people can access them.
We ask a lot of time and commitment of our volunteers. It’s right that we offer to contribute to their travel expenses, and provide a limited monthly budget for mentoring meetings. This ensures anyone can volunteer, including low-income and unwaged mentors.
The monthly allowance sets realistic expectations for entertainments or refreshments when mentors and mentees meet, and can be used by mentors to help young people plan and budget.
We also invest in group clinical supervision for our mentors, enabling them to offload concerns and gain confidence.
While not a significant cost, our activities for young people are invaluable. Group work helps young people build confidence and teamwork skills, and exposure to new places, skills and experiences is vital to raise aspirations.
In a county rich in cultural and recreational opportunities, we focus on helping young people make connections to world-class organisations and feel a sense of belonging to this heritage.
Activities have included: quad biking, rowing, gardening, photography, art, video-making, football, digital music, hip hop, spoken word poetry, farm visits, baking, filming, drama, panto, clay pigeon shooting, paintball, forest school, visits to country estates, kayaking, lantern making, assault courses, go-karting and more.