Our Open Doors mentoring programme is steadily matching more trained volunteer mentors with young people who want this support to help them plan their future.
Open Doors now boasts eleven trained mentors and more due to complete the four session course in the New Year. Our mentors bring a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge to their role and can offer young people lots of appropriate advice to ‘help them to help themselves’ in making decisions about what they really want to achieve in life and how they can go about taking the necessary steps towards making this happen for themselves. However, it is the young person who is in the driving seat – their mentor is there to support, advise and most importantly of all to listen. They act as a ‘sounding board’ and will provide constructive criticism in order that the young person is able to give themselves regular ‘reality checks’ which ensure that their expectations are well managed.
The support provided by our mentors is based on an initial assessment called an Outcome Web which forms the basis of a subsequent action plan. This is reviewed regularly between the mentor and young person so that the focus remains on achieving the targets that the young person wants to set themselves. Ultimately every mentor is aspiring to make themselves redundant by reaching the point where the young person they have been supporting no longer requires them. For some this is achieved within a couple of months, for others it takes considerably longer. And so long as there is good reason for the mentoring relationship to continue and both parties remain committed to it then the support is open-ended, subject to review every 6-8 weeks. Recent successes have included young people being supported to find employment, work experience, volunteering opportunities and to return to study for English & Maths qualifications to improve their employability.
If you would like further information about Open Doors please contact Keith Harrison.