Supporting the younger generation

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

“If I had never had met you who knows where I would be right now” – Mentee.

There are many vulnerable and distressed children in our community and Mentor Link can help them. It’s all about children.

Anyone undergoing person difficulties may feel the need to talk to someone and young people are no different. Our mentors are there to support young people confidentiality, offering individual independent advice. The aim of mentoring is to generate a more positive outlook on life both personally and educationally, with the well being of these young people forming the focus of our work.

The majority of local authorities have been forced to reduce their CAMHS budgets and in some areas cannot provide the support that young people need promptly and at a lower level. This is where Mentor Link is able to help.

Massive under-funding in mental health services for young people means that many of the 1 in 10 5-16 year old's who suffer from diagnosable mental health disorders aren’t getting the support they need. We now receive weekly enquiries from parents and support workers because of this. £25,000 would enable us to expand our provision of mentoring, both in schools and the community. It would pay for the set-up and associated costs of mentoring for a year for the benefit of 30 young people, with the intention of sustaining the project long term. After set-up costs, the scheme is cost effective: once we are up and running with administration, training and travel expenses the project can run itself.

We would now like to expand into Warwickshire, having recently taken on new referrals from the area. One of the teachers told us: “The students have gained confidence from this experience and their families have spoken of the value they feel it has had on their children. I feel the importance of having someone to talk to who is completely impartial is extremely high and Mentor Link have proper systems in place to evaluate the impact of their service.”

Supporting these young people benefits their families, education and the local community. Mentoring helps bridge the generation gap and aid cohesion in the community by using the life skills of the older generation to support the vulnerable younger one. It also encourages people to play a more active role in their community by giving something back as mentors. We have trained hundreds of mentors from the communities we work in, and it enables adults that have experienced difficulties themselves to offer their support and experience, and understand the chaotic and traumatic lives some young people have to face.

The benefit of mentoring on the children and young people cannot be underestimated, as proven by the feedback we receive. Mentor Link has over 14 years’ experience, and last year we mentored 410 young people, with 92% reporting improvements in self-esteem, 87% in academic performance and behaviour, 75% in relationships and 81% in engagement. We take time to carefully match up mentors with young people so it can be as beneficial as possible and encourage an environment of support and friendship. With positive role models giving their time and advice, it helps the children with the development of their own life skills and keeps them engaged in their successful transition to adulthood. As one mentee told us last year: "I suffered from anxiety slightly, and my mentor also had a history with anxiety, which meant she was very reassuring and pleasant to talk to as I did not feel judged in any way and felt comfortable speaking about personal situations."

Something as simple as having someone independent there just to listen for an hour a week can make all the difference, whatever level of need. The need for someone to listen, there solely to support and understand what they are going through, is something Mentor Link is here to help with.

“It has really helped me, so I think you should let other people know it’s available. Thank you” - Mentee

Project Video

MentorLink

Moment of Pride

As a Mentor and a Trustee, I am proud to see the difference that Mentor Link and its volunteers, make to young people's lives.
The Charity has recently celebrated it's 14th anniversary and in that time, we have mentored over 3000 young people. We make a difference to children's lives, everyday.

Location: Worcestershire / Warwickshire