If you are a parent of a young person and you think the Mentoring Service would benefit them, please find some more information below:
What is BLGC mentoring?
Our mentors are all volunteers who are recruited and trained to work with children and young people on a 1 to 1 basis. They visit their mentee every other week for a few hours and undertake activities that encourage a young person to develop their self-esteem, self-confidence and build resilience. Some mentoring is delivered in the BLGC mentoring resource room or one of our club settings and some out and about in the community. Mentoring is about building a quality relationship giving the young person someone they can talk to.
How do you know about my child/young person?
Most children and young people are referred to the service by professionals supporting your child/young person and/or family. However, parents and carers can also refer to the service.
Why does my child/young person need a mentor?
A professional working with your child/young person or your family will have identified that additional support may benefit your child/young person, to support them with issues they may be experiencing at the moment.
Who are the mentors?
All our Mentors are volunteers. They are recruited from the community and have a genuine interest in wanting to mentor a child/young person. Before they can become a Mentor, they must attend all our training including safeguarding. We also carry out a DBS on our mentors, which is a Police check. We also obtain 2 written references from previous employers/ professionals.
What happens before my child/young person gets a Mentor?
Your child/young person will be allocated to a Coordinator who has worked with lots of young people. The Coordinator’s role is to speak with the person who referred your child/young person and check that the information is up to date. This will help us work more effectively with your child/young person.
We will then speak with you to arrange a home visit at a suitable time, to come and discuss what the service entails and look at how we may be able to support your child/young person. A consent form will need to be completed before we can work with your child/young person.
How do you find the right mentor for my child/young person?
From the home visit, we would visit a child/ young person a number of times in order to get to know your child/young person. Working with them and identifying what they think mentoring can help them with. We would try and find out their likes and dislikes are and do the match based on this. We would also look at the Mentor’s strengths and try and match on common interests if possible.
What will the Mentor do with my child/young person?
The Mentor will meet with your child/young person and take them to different places such as cafes, walks and activities at Bolton Lads and Girls Club to start to develop a relationship with them. We know it can take a while for children and young people to trust adults so we do this at the young person’s pace and we do not force them to go to places they don’t feel comfortable. After a while, they may come up with a weekly plan together of what they are going to do.
What is the Mentor Coordinator’s role?
The Coordinator’s role is to support both the child/young person and mentor. The Coordinator will speak to both the child/ young person each week to get an update on how mentoring is going. The Coordinator will also speak with professionals involved in the child/young person life to update on how the mentoring journey is going. The Coordinator will attend any meetings regarding the child/young person and will feedback to the mentor, what they need to know. Mentors do not attend meetings and do not have any contact with professionals involved, unless agreed with their Coordinator.
What support with I get as a parent or carer?
Although mentoring is for the child or young person, the Mentoring Coordinator will have contact with yourself to get updates on how things are going for your child/young person. We will provide support at meetings where necessary but the focus of the mentoring relationship is on the child or young person. Therefore, we ask our Mentors not to get involved with the family as this can blur the relationship between the child/young person and Mentor. The Mentor will introduce themselves to you so you know who your child/young person is going out with but will have minimal contact with you.
How long does mentoring last for?
An average relationship usually lasts for about 18 months – 2 years; however, we monitor this throughout the match and if needed mentoring can continue as long as there is a need. This will be discussed with your child/young person, the Mentor and the Coordinator.
How will mentoring end?
The match will be reviewed throughout and when the time is right to the end the match, we do a planned match end. We don’t want to create dependency with the mentor and this is why the match ends but we phase the visits out gradually. Once mentoring has ended we do not encourage Mentors to stay in touch.
Once mentoring has ended, can my child/young person still attend the club?
Of course they can! We would love to see them at any one of our youth clubs, getting involved in all the fun activities.