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Volunteer mentoring

Life-changing early help

Meeting weekly with a volunteer mentor can be life changing for a young person struggling with confidence, wellbeing, issues of identity or difficulties at home.

Young people are quick to see the difference between a volunteer and a professional care worker. They understand that an adult has made the choice to spend time with them, to focus on their interests and be ready to listen and not judge. They understand that there is no script and no attainment targets, just spending positive time together with the chance to talk about what’s on their mind.

Volunteer mentors are well trained and supported by us, but they can only safely support young people up to a certain level of need or complexity of circumstances. Our volunteer mentoring projects are early help services, and we may have to decline an application to refer if needs are too high – in which case our professional mentoring service can be more appropriate.

How do I refer a young person for volunteer mentoring?

7-11 year olds

For children aged 7-11, we currently offer mentoring in the city of Bath and in the Norton Radstock areas. Panels of local schools refer students directly to us and individual schools support mentoring by offering time within the school day and places to meet.

If you are a professional or family member seeking mentoring for a 7-11 year old in those areas, please speak directly to the relevant primary school.

11-21 year olds

For young people aged 11-21 (plus 21-25 for young adults with a SEN diagnosis and in need of early help), we open to applications to refer direct 3-4 times per year. Applications to refer can be made by schools, professionals or families, or on request we can support young people to refer themselves. Demand far outstrips capacity so we operate a blind ballot system to select applications.

Our referral criteria checklist is a useful starting point to see if volunteer mentoring is right for the young person needing support.

Join a mailing list for updates on our next application opening