Skills for life

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Aviva OMP- The Aviva funding would enable up to 15 children/young people to gain life changing support from OMP staff & up to a 12 month relationship with a mentor. What is OMP? The Odysseus Mentoring Project (OMP) is an award winning mentoring project. It is a life changing project that really works. OMP has never remained stagnant & always evolved to meet the needs of young people, however our ethos has always remained the same. OMP provides mentoring support for extremely disadvantaged & vulnerable children & young people aged 6 – 25 years old in Northumbria & Tyne & Wear. The majority of the children & young people supported come from underprivileged communities & areas of high deprivation & have taken or they are at risk of taking the wrong path in life. They often live with difficult family or social situations & face a multitude of issues & barriers. Many have already been told they are ‘difficult’ or ‘a problem’; other services have ‘given up’ on them & they are in desperate need of a positive role model. Their parents have nowhere else to turn &, frequently we see families who are at breaking point. OMP works in partnership with many different organisations & with public sector cuts & restraints, the need for our support has never been greater. OMP provides the opportunity for positive relationships to develop between young people in need, & those adults who are willing to guide, support, challenge & educate them. This dedicated time gives a young person the opportunity to feel supported, talk about their issues & learn new things. The Mentors are local people, 18 years & over who volunteer & who are carefully vetted, trained & then matched to an individual young person to meet their specific needs. This matching process is important to ensure that mentors’ personalities, experiences & skills provide the most benefit to a young person in need of education, support & guidance. Mentors are not associated with any other part of the young person’s life. Mentors are there solely for that young person to offer support & to challenge in a non-threatening way or just be someone to talk to. The volunteers are supported through the whole process. Once matched, 1:2:1 mentoring meetings take place on a weekly basis. The meetings take place in the community, in a public place where the young person feels comfortable. As the relationship progresses, the meetings take place in a variety of settings e.g. museums & art galleries, which expose the young people to environments & experiences that they may otherwise not have had. Mentoring relationships work well as they are on a voluntary basis on both sides meaning the young person actually wants to engage. This also means that the young person can opt out at any time. However, most mentoring relationships last the full duration of 12 months. If a young person still needs support after this time we will provide it, meaning our intervention can be more long-term & therefore make a bigger difference to both the young person & their families. Benefits: The support we provide is long term & sustainable & works to create long term difference & change in attitude & behaviour. It ignites motivation & inspiration & enables the young people to recognise their full potential. OMP enables the young people access to vital 1:2:1 support to address, explore & overcome barriers, enabling long-term, sustainable change in attitudes, behaviour, aspiration & motivation. The benefits of this form of support & intervention are immense, some of which are: Increase in confidence, self-esteem & social development, Gain in motivation, Opportunity to explore consequences & actions, Reengagement in education, Greater understanding of the value of money using the budget, Individual one to one support, Positive relationship with an adult, Mentor is not linked to anyone else in young person’s life. We see children & young people as the solution, NOT the problem.

Northumbria Coalition Against Crime (NCAC)

Moment of Pride

We are extremely proud of OMP. The support, education & guidance OMP provides is life changing. It is a privilege to be a part of & to watch the young people grow & blossom, which is truly amazing. OMP succeeds where many other professionals have failed. OMP has a bank of 60 dedicated volunteers

Location: Whickham