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Our services

Primary volunteer mentoring

Children aged 7-11 are referred to us directly by their schools for early help support from a volunteer mentor. We currently support pupils in the Bath and Norton Radstock areas. Mentoring takes place during the school day, termtimes only, for an academic year. With school and family consent, we encourage mentors to take children out of school to offer a change of scene. Some pupils are referred in January of their Year 6 for support around transition to secondary school. The mentoring continues in their new schools in terms 1-2 of their year 7.

We offer primary mentees regular fun group activity days in school holidays, including transport.

This service is part-funded by the participating schools, with the remainder from charitable grants and community donations.

Secondary volunteer mentoring

Young people aged 11-21 (plus 21-25 with a SEN diagnosis) are referred to us by schools, care professionals, families and themselves for 1 year of mentoring. The service opens for applications periodically and is heavily over-subscribed. We run a ballot process as the fairest means of selecting those applying to refer. This is an early help service and we may have to decline young people whose needs and circumstances are too complex for a volunteer to safely support. Mentoring usually takes place on weekdays outside school hours, with sessions continuing where possible in school holidays. Mentees have access to regular evening group activity sessions and school holiday activities.

This service is core funded by a commission from Bath & NE Somerset Council Public Health. The remainder is funded from charitable grants and community donations.

Professional mentoring

Children and young people (7-21) who have more complex needs and circumstances can still benefit from 1-1 community mentoring. Families who have funding such as an Education & Health Care Plan or similar can use some of this to directly fund professional mentoring, often via the student’s school. This looks and feels the same as volunteer mentoring, with fun weekly activities out and about in the community, but with a mentor who is employed by us and offers a higher degree of confidence and expertise. The minimum mentoring period is 14 weeks, and most mentoring lasts up to a year.

This service is directly funded as set out above to cover the costs of delivery. Any surplus generated helps fund the charity’s core costs.

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Increased enagement

93% of young people helped were reported to have an increased engagement with education

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Feel more confident

96% reported improved self-esteem in the last year

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Build a solid relationship

94% voluntarily completed a year of mentoring, and many keep in touch with mentors afterwards

Student & Family Support (SAFS)

If a student needs support to re-access mainstream education following low attendance, exclusion, a managed move between schools, a return after hospital or home education, or if a school place is unavailable (fair access), they may be referred to our SAFS service. Our friendly and skilled professionals will work 1-1 with students and their families, usually for up to 16 weeks, to help them settle into new schools, make connections with helpful staff, address underlying difficulties and provide practical help such as new school uniform.

If your child is part of these processes and has not yet been offered SAFS support, please speak to the pastoral care staff at their school.

SAFS is wholly funded by a commission from Bath & NE Somerset Council Education, and does not receive any charitable funding.

Youth clubs

12-19 year olds can drop in to our open access youth clubs on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at Riverside Youth Hub in Bath in termtime (holiday activities are also offered to youth club members).

Sessions run 6.30-8.30pm and always offer a choice of activities from cooking and eating together to sport, games and crafts.

Qualified and experienced youth workers get to know young people, ensure they feel safe and are able to chat about anything bothering them. They can also signpost other help and services if that’s what’s needed. It’s a great way for young people to get out, meet people and feel supported, with no waiting for a referral process.