at the Bridge Mentoring Plus Scheme
SERVING THE COMMUNITY OF BRIDGEND SINCE 2002
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a process whereby young people at risk can receive one-to-one guidance and support from responsible volunteers who will act as healthy role models. Trained mentors will help individuals develop strategies to resist temptations to offend, make positive decisions concerning their quality of life and encourage responsible attitudes towards relationships and everyday obligations.
Why young people need mentors
Young people today cope with far more personal and social issues than any other previous generation of youth. Early intervention through a structured mentor relationship may be able to give young people the tools and support they need to deal effectively with these pressures.
Understanding the many social, psychological and physical demands that the youth of today face is extremely important for any individual who is about to undertake the task of being a mentor. These issues can include:
Peer pressure - one of the greatest forces on adolescents is power and influence of their peers
Substance abuse - the curiosity to experiment with alcohol, tobacco and drugs is a constant threat to adolescence in today's world
Sexuality - many young people turn to relationship for a variety of reasons
Child abuse and family violence - physical and psychological abuse within the family or in any environment will have both an immediate affect on young people and create long term negative attitudes and behaviours.
School safety and violence - many young people are exposed to bullies or other violent behaviours in the school setting which may result in attendance problems or lower academic achievement levels.
Depression and suicide - serious depression is common when young people are overwhelmed with issues and situations they cannot resolve.
What do mentors do?
Working under the guidelines of the National Mentoring Network, the Bridge MPS will employ a programme of one-to-one mentoring, group activities and basic educational programmes to help mentees develop in specific areas. The desired outcomes fall into three broad categories:
Improved academic progress
Positive relationships with adults developed
More constructive use of leisure time
Active involvement in the decision making process
Increased capacity to problem solve
Ability to initiate and sustain actions
Handling relationships with adults and managing emotions
Some young people referred to the scheme have been persistent school truants and in need of basic literacy and numeracy help. The tutor assesses the young person and provides the mentor with worksheets and activities built around the young person's interests. The aim is to either encourage them back into the educational system and/or to support them when looking for employment or training.
Helping young people see and strive for broader horizons and possibilities than they may see in their present environment. This can be achieved by listening, advising, assisting, encouraging, motivating and sharing your own experiences where appropriate
Other adults in the young person's life may not have the time, interest or ability to listen, or they may be judgmental Mentors can encourage young people to talk about their fears, dreams and concerns. Staying neutral and not judging but rather sharing your own values, is important in listening. Remember, a mentor may be the ONLY adult in a young person's life who listens.
Attention and Concern:
Many young people do not receive enough from the adults in their lives; mentors can fill these empty spaces with dependable, sincere and consistent attention and concern
Nutrition and Health:
Many young people feel they are immortal and are either ignorant of or ignore good health practices
Faith and Religion:
This issue is usually within the domain of the family. However, this may be an area of great concern for some young people.
Career Exploitation and Part-Time Work:
Many young people struggle with the subjects of work and career. They often don't know what they want to do or be, how they can contribute to society, what their strengths are or what steps to take in exploring workplace opportunities.
Making money is important to most young people but knowing how to about securing satisfying employment is something they usually learn through trial and error.
A commitment made to a young person for a meeting together, an activity or an appointment should be a mentor's first priority, barring emergencies. This consistent accountability has several benefits:
Sets a good example for young people to emulate
Cements trust between mentor and young person
Creates mutual expectations that can be met
Social and Time Management:
How to manage leisure time, school work, extra curricular activities, family chores and other social demands is often very difficult for young people. Mentors can help give structure to a young person
What qualifications do I need?
No academic qualifications are required but you will need to attend a free training course. These training courses are held regularly throughout the year in the evenings at The Bridge and are last for 5 - 6 sessions.
Of course we do require a DBS (criminal records) check which can be done online and you will also need to show us proof of identity.
We will ask you to commit to 3 hours a week minimum and for a period of at least 12 months.
We will reimburse your travel expenses and the cost of the DBA check.
If you are interested or have any other questions please call us on 01656 647891.
Volunteer mentors are recruited from the community and receive training on relevant issues to do with young people and mentoring. Ongoing training and support will be available. They will meet with the young person on a regular basis i.e. once a week for a minimum of two hours and will be committed to the relationship for approximately one year. The mentor will help the young person draw up an action plan and work with them to achieve their goals by providing one-to-one support, being a listener and confidante, advising, assisting, encouraging, motivating and acting as a role model.
Any and all of the following are important activities that mentors provide in the lives of the young people with the Bridge Mentoring Plus Scheme