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Mentoring to support Pre-Neet 12 & 13 year olds

April 23rd, 2014 by Suzanne Sweeney

How can we utilise mentoring to steer young people who have been identified as potential “NEET” (Not in employment, education or training) to a new pathway?

As a collaborative initiative Windmills is working with Sefton Council for Voluntary Services, Sefton Education and Business Partnership, local schools and employers, to do this. A one year project has been launched which utilises STAR from the Windmills portfolio. It supports ten Year 8 pupils helping them create resilient and entrepreneurial behaviours by engaging them in GROWTH opportunities along with mentored support:

Giving – Engage in Smile £10 Challenge within the schools communities locality
Resilience – Fire Service session, understanding the essentials of resilience from Fire-fighters
Opportunities – Peel Ports session, understanding the opportunities the new Super Port in Liverpool will bring to their locality
Wellbeing – Tapping into local voluntary provision to support their needs and those of the local community
Transition – Preparing for the move from Y8 to Y9 and the link to wider aspirations and ambitions
Happiness – Celebration session reflective of all that has been learned and gained on the programme

The above framework is enabling the young people involved to relate to education, health, and business environments with the aim of enhancing their future employability and contribution to their local community as active citizens.

Whilst this is being positively implemented, the essential support these young people have identified is the mentor who meets with them every two weeks. Meeting in the school, and during school holidays in local youth facilities, they discuss with their mentor what have been the important events of the last fortnight, what they have learned from these, what this means for them when they think about their future and what they now feel they need to do as a result.

Comments have included…..

 “I don’t normally talk to anyone about school other than exams to my mum, so it’s good to have a sort of 3rd parent to talk to about things.”

“I’m feeling a lot more confident and focused on the future by talking with my mentor”

Early wins from this project have been seen in school, at home and in the involvement of these young people in wider community based initiatives that they had never considered previously.

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