I am a 37 year old Estate Agent from Bath. I do not have children of my own but must have a maternal streak somewhere as much as I try to deny it. I decided to become a mentor as other people who were involved in the project said it would be something I would enjoy and be good at, I have always volunteered in one form or another.
I did my training with M+ last May and was matched with my mentee in June. I have been really lucky to have an enthusiastic, polite, young lad and it has been a pleasure to work with him. We have been to the police dog handling unit in Bristol and the Fire Station in Bath, done many dog walks and been to restaurants to chat.
I have helped with school work and more recently preparation for apprenticeship interviews. I have developed as a person and I have had to learn patience and deal with disappointment as well as the elation I have felt at times. I have become extremely fond of the lad I work with and proud of his achievements, I cannot imagine him not being in my life in some way in the future as I would like to know who he goes on to become. A person who is not involved in their lives, but becomes so, is often easier to talk to.
Mentoring Plus enables young people to meet others who may be having similar life experiences to them, which might not be as conventional as school peers, this allows the youngsters to feel normalised, their mentors are empowering them and building their confidence in relationships and social situations and helping them adjust at a difficult time in their lives without judgement.
“So many young people need help in this harsh and destructive society we have created. Mentors are invaluable.
This why I am pleased to support Mentoring Plus”
Ken Loach, Film Director and Patron of Mentoring Plus
“Bath’s Mentoring Plus offers unique opportunities for the young...The challenges faced by all young people are many and varied in the current climate. But particularly so for those who have grown up in circumstances of social, economic and emotional deprivation. Organisations like Mentoring Plus provide a unique opportunity for such young people to develop trusting and reliable relationships. These promote the sort of resilience that will prove invaluable as they make their way in the adult world.”
Lord Knight of Weymouth
“Mentoring Plus is a valuable part of early intervention initiatives that help reduce offending. They support young people who might go the wrong way to build positive relationships and engage in constructive activities.”
Chief Superintendent Gary Davies
Avon and Somerset Constabulary
“The cost of criminalising children results in a huge and long lasting economic burden. Much better if, through organisations like Mentoring Plus, we can nurture adolescents through the sort of difficulties which typically underlie most youth offending.”
Professor Rod Morgan
HM Chief Inspector of Probation 2001-4, Chairman of the Youth Justice Board 2004-7.
Currently Ministry of Justice advisor to the five criminal justice inspectorates.
“I’ve found mentoring an unbelievably rewarding experience but also a steep learning curve. To be allowed into these young people’s lives, and be given a glimpse of the difficulties they’ve had, is both a humbling responsibility and a great privilege.”
“Having a mentor is a different experience to anything else. You can tell them things you wouldn’t tell anyone else and they don’t judge you. I have also learnt lots of different skills at Mentoring Plus and the staff are really helpful and friendly.”