History of Mentoring

Since 1997, our Mentoring Service has provided one-to-one support for vulnerable or at-risk young people in the Bolton area.

We’re really proud of what our Mentors have achieved. By giving up some of their time each week and getting to know a local young person, they’ve helped our members through difficult periods in their lives.

New mentors are always required at the Club. We’re looking for adults from all walks of life to match with members who have demonstrated a need for one-to-one support.

What do we mean by Mentoring?

Our Mentors come to us from all walks of life and all backgrounds. We match a young person with a Mentor and ask that the Mentor commits to meet up with their young person once a week for one-two hours to get to know each other and spend some consistent, quality time together.

The role of a Mentor is to empower, encourage and support the young person throughout the year, not to provide all the answers or ‘fix’ the young person’s life. Mentors are encouraged to meet up with the young person, usually at a local café, park, bowling alley or other suitable location. The aim is to develop a supportive and trusting relationship that will encourage the individual’s natural development and help them overcome the challenges they’re facing.

It takes time to develop these relationships and build trust, so we ask new mentors to commit to the service for at least 12 months.

To mentor means to guide someone towards a goal through support and advice. Therefore, a Mentor helps a young person achieve something by working with them to identify their goal and the steps they’re going to take to get there, together.


Our approach to mentoring young people

We are child-centred and work in an engaging and meaningful way with our young people. Our approach is about developing self-esteem, confidence and resilience. This is achieved by spending quality time with a young person and building a positive relationship so that they have a safe space in which to be themselves.

Some young people are able to articulate what they need help with, and it is clear what you can do to get them to a better place. Other young people, particularly those who have been traumatised, struggle to understand how they feel, which in turn, makes it harder to work towards more tangible goals with them. Experience and research has shown that a consistent, reliable adult who listens and is there for them, has a very positive impact on these young people in many areas of their life.


How do we differ to other mentoring services?

We work with a child/young person in a holistic way, responding to what they say they need from a mentor. As adults, we may see issues or behaviours that we think a young person needs help with, however, the young person may not agree or actually identifies something different as more important. We believe that all young people have a voice and need to be listened to and supported to help themselves. Empowerment is a key underlying principle of our service.

Unlike many other mentoring services, we are guided by the young person. We encourage our Mentors to meet their young person out and about in the community in a variety of settings, as we believe in childhood and creating happy memories for our children and young people.


How we mentor

Our Volunteer Mentors meet their young person once a week for one-two hours. The mentoring relationship will last for approximately a year to 18 months. The setting you meet your mentee in will vary according to their age, the weather and time of year. We emphasise that mentoring is about building a relationship and spending quality time with your young person; so simple activities like walks in the park, having a milkshake, using our mentoring resource room, doing arts and crafts, and any other low-cost activity that is out and about in the local area is ideal.

Got some questions?

Click here to have a look at the answers to some of our Mentor Frequently Asked Questions