Our Youth Mentoring Project

What is Mentoring?
Our mentoring service provides a child or young person with a trusted adult to spend time with, talk to, work through things. The key principle of our mentoring is the transformative power of safe and positive relationships.  The role of our mentors is simply being there to support a child or young person consistently over a period of around 12 months. This can take different forms depending on the age and needs of the children.  For example some mentors will take their mentees out for hot chocolate and a chat, others will go for bike rides or play other sports. Some will go to the cinema, go for dog walks, visit places of interest or those with younger children might just visit the park or play games. Sometimes the mentoring occurs within school time & at school, other times it’s outside of school.  It is child led and the emphasis is on building the relationship, not working through programmes or rigid targets although we do regularly review progress to ensure the child’s needs are being met.

Our mentors are trained volunteers who are all DBS checked and recruited via a thorough process of application, references, a 2­stage interview and 4 session training programme.  They come from all walks of life and experiences and there is a careful matching process between mentee and mentor so that the child will feel most comfortable and understood by their mentor. We are working with children aged between 7 and 17 in and around the Winchcombe & Cheltenham area. We take referrals from local Schools, Young Carers, Social Services and from young people and parents directly following.  There is no charge to young people or families for the service as we are partly grant funded, however if we are working with a significant number of young people through one school or agency we will expect a contribution towards the running of the service. This is agreed on a case by case basis.

We are a youth work charity and understand young people. Therefore we are committed to placing their needs before any programme and to persevering in building positive relationships based on trust and mutual respect. We believe this takes time and that we will see the most benefit to a young person when consistent support over a significant period of time is offered, rather than short term or one off interventions. With this in mind we place a high value on consistency of staff/volunteers and operate with high ratios of staff to young people.

What does it cost?
For the young person it costs nothing! We are trying to raise enough money through grants and fundraising so that we can offer this service to schools and other organisations without charge, particularly in light of current cuts to school budgets across our area. In previous years our mentoring project has been supported financially by the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Fund, Tewkesbury Borough Council and Encounter Church, Winchcombe. We are currently seeking further funding to continue this work. If this programme is something you would like to support financially, please contact us at info@wamyouth.org.uk.

What do I do next?
If you are young person, parent or carer in the Winchombe area who would like a mentor for you or your child please contact us. If we are already working with your school or youth centre we will usually encourage you to apply to us through them. If you are a school or other organisation wanting to work with us please contact us. We have a clear process for working with schools and we will send you an information pack. We are always keen to partner with other organisations so if you are a local community group keen to be involved do get in touch! If you are interested in becoming a mentor then contact us and we will arrange a time to meet you and chat this through. Please contact us for more information on info@wamyouth.org.uk or 01242 603678.

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WAM Youth is a Registered Charity (No.1170638) based in Gloucestershire

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