The Trusted Mentors scheme, run by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, is looking for more volunteers to give some of their time in 2020 to help vulnerable youngsters who could use some independent support and guidance.
The Trust delivers social care and support services to children, young people and families in Doncaster on behalf of Doncaster Council.
It believes that every child and young person in the borough deserves the best start in life and support when they need it to reach their full potential. Support is given to children and young people of all backgrounds, races, disabilities and cultures who need support in the borough at times of need or crisis in their lives.
With funding from the Department for Education’s Doncaster Opportunity Area Programmes, since launching in January 2019, the scheme has enlisted 161 mentors, most of whom have completed their training, been matched with a child or young person and have started on an enduring coaching and mentoring relationship.
Through your role as a mentor, you will help encourage positive choices, promote high self-esteem, academic support and introduce new ideas. Simple things that may seem straightforward to you, may be a complete mystery to a young person – your help may open their lives to a world of possibilities.
The aim of the scheme is for mentors to support young people to get involved in positive activities towards achieving their aspirations. This in turn will make them happier, more confident and have a positive effect on their schoolwork. Your role as a mentor is to be supportive to individuals and build relationships with young people offering them guidance, support, and encouragement.
Students aged between nine and 18 from schools across the borough are part of the scheme. One 13-year-old girl said having a mentor was “like having a weight lifted off my shoulders”. Another child said he was less worried about moving to secondary school now that he has a mentor to talk to about his worries.
Project Manager of the scheme, Cheryl Blackett, said: ‘We have had brilliant feedback from parents and schools about the difference our mentors are making to the lives of children and young people in Doncaster and we want to continue to make a difference. New Year is an ideal time to think about what you can do for others in the year ahead and we would love to hear from anyone who would like to join our team”.
Full training and support is given and each volunteer is carefully matched with a child or young person to ensure the partnership works for both the mentor and the young person. So if you are up for a new challenge this year and want to give something back to your community, become a mentor.
For more information about the Trusted Mentors scheme, go to www.doncasterchildrenstrust.co.uk/volunteering/trusted-mentors or contact the team on 01302 735721.