Grandmentor for Volunteering Matters - Posted 2/9/21
Grandmentors is an innovative project harnessing the energy, skills, and experience of older volunteers (50+) to support young people as they navigate life after care.
Our Grandmentors come from a wide range of backgrounds and all walks of life, enabling them to understand and meet the range of needs of their mentees. Our trained volunteers, forge trusting and positive relationships that support, challenge, and empower mentees to unlock their own skills and to shape their own futures.
Mentoring gives a young person (age 16-24) a positive relationship with an adult who is there just for them. Not another professional that has been assigned to them, but an adult that they have chosen to match with based on the mentors’ qualities and experience and how these may support the young person in achieving goals of their own. Independent research of the project by Manchester Metropolitan University indicates that when a successful match is made, having an older mentor can bring about real positive outcomes for the young people involved.
Our goal is to provide consistency and stability to our care experienced young people and so you should expect that a match could last anywhere up to a year, in some cases longer however this is based on the individual needs of your mentee. Through regular meetings you will be boosting your mentees confidence and working towards goals specific to them. Ultimately you will be giving them the skills and self-belief to lead successful and independent lives.
Who makes a good Grandmentor?
Grandmentors are not specially trained career counsellors or support workers. You will offer guidance and support to your mentee based on your own experiences and work with them to help them achieve their goals. You will have a genuine interest in helping young people lead rewarding and successful lives. You need patience and a non-judgmental attitude in order to establish a beneficial relationship. The best relationships benefit both the young person and the volunteer.
What does a Grandmentor do?
- Commits to Grandmentors for at least one year
- Meets the young person regularly (usually weekly/fortnightly)
- Builds up a relationship based on trust and mutual respect
- Acts as a positive role model helping to boost confidence and self-esteem to encourage ambition and aspiration
- Is someone who can discuss options, hopes and aspirations with their mentee
- Helps the young person plan and work towards goals in relation to employment, education or training. This can be done through planning meetings, activities and actions with the mentee.
- Keeps the Project Coordinator updated on the progress of the meetings by submitting a diary sheet after each meeting
- Shares any concerns with the Project Coordinator
- Ensures that confidentiality and safeguarding guidelines are adhered to (as outlined in the training)
How you could support a Mentee
- Help with writing CVs and job applications
- Support them in finding a job or volunteering opportunities
- Assisting in looking for apprenticeships
- Searching for college/university courses
- Help with meal planning and healthy eating
- Exercise and leisure activities
- Access to services (doctor, dentist, library etc.)
- Expanding horizons
What Grandmentors ought not to do!
- Act in a parental role
- Counsel the mentee around any complex issue
- Take the mentee to your home (or give your address or home number) or go to their home unaccompanied by project staff
- Undertake therapeutic work with the mentee
- Provide transport, or any other service for the mentee, outside of your previously agreed role as a volunteer under this scheme
- Give or lend money to the mentee
- Promise to keep secrets
What support do Grandmentors receive?
- Initial and on-going training
- Individual support from the Project Coordinator
- Regular Support Group meetings with other mentors
- Peer support from other mentors
- Reimbursement of travel costs and other out-of-pocket expenses associated with the meetings (submitted on a monthly basis)
Please note: You will need to complete an application form with references, attend an interview, and consent to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.
To find out more, click on the "Fill in an Application" button and I will get back to you.
As a social action charity we believe everyone should have the opportunity to thrive. So we bring people together to overcome some of society’s most complex issues through the power of volunteering.
We partner with communities to overcome adversity, tackle social isolation and loneliness, improve health, develop skills and opportunity and make sure young people can lead change. And because we’re a national charity, we do this at scale, sharing our expertise and building partnerships to make an even bigger impact.
We turn local knowledge and energy into action and progress, building stronger communities and a better future for all.
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