Making a difference: Lucky Break mentoring
Our Lucky Break volunteer mentors support young people with a whole range of issues. They offer a young person someone to talk to who is not judging them, but listening and allowing them to speak freely. But often just as valuable are the small things - help with planning and organising or just taking a bus ride – that give a young person the confidence to move forward.
Ben*, 18, has been home educated since year 8 due to depression and anxiety. He rarely left the house and when he did, he got a lift. He engaged with a mentor to work towards gaining some work experience.
Their initial goals were to meet in a café and to get on the bus together (neither of which Ben had done for years). They also started a project of building a film review website together, uploading their reviews (film being a common interest).
Within a few weeks, Ben started to feel more confident and expressed an interest in re-entering full-time education. His mentor supported him to apply, attended the interview with him and advocated with college staff at enrolment when there were misunderstandings about course details. He is now on a full-time IT course with the continued support of his mentor to ease his transition.
Connor* is in year 11 and has low literacy and ADHD. He is also a carer for his mum. He meets his mentor once a fortnight in school.
In their sessions they have tackled various topics including his school attendance and punctuality, and how to manage his time more effectively. She has also helped him with his organisation, making sure he’s got the right equipment for different lessons.
As Connor struggles with concentration, the mentor incorporates activities or games into the sessions to break it up. These games often focus on developing his emotional intelligence or are around scenarios which involve a moral dilemma. Connor and his mentor have built up a good rapport and the mentor has been a role model, supportive, encouraging and non-judgemental.
Dean* left 6th form with a BTEC level 3 in IT (equivalent to A-levels). He has Aspergers so struggled with new social situations and had not had any work experience other than a paper round. His aspiration was to work in IT but his school were concerned that he would struggle outside of the familiarity and support of the school environment.
Dean and his mentor explored his goals and aspirations, challenges, willingness to travel and ways that he could increase his experience and confidence. They found him a volunteering opportunity helping older people learn how to use IT which helped him work on his communication in a non-threatening environment.
They continued to meet to work on his CV and applications, with the view of gaining some paid work in a games tester role. He managed to get a few days’ work and with encouragement, asked for more. His mentor is now supporting him to apply for apprenticeships.
Find out more
Are you interested in volunteering to be a mentor? Do know a young person who would benefit from our service?
*names have been changed
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