Update 27/11/23 our waiting lists are currently closed. Please do not put in a referral. For enquiries about this, please contact email@example.com
"Cleeve School has worked with WAM for over three years now and at all times have found their service highly skilled, professional and completely dedicated to the betterment of each individual student referred to them. Their in school mentoring service is excellent and our students have benefited from the bespoke mentors WAM can offer. The fact that the mentors come from a variety of professions and backgrounds means that they can fit the right adult to the right student, we have seen excellent results for the students who have had this mentoring over a sustained period of time."
Kerala Cole, Director of Inclusion at Cleeve School
What Is Mentoring?
Our mentoring service provides a child or young person with a trusted adult to spend time with, talk to, work through things. Our mentoring is a long term safe space suitable for any young person who requires a sustained, trusted relationship with an adult. We have successfully supported young people who have experienced multiple ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) as well as other emotional and mental health challenges, those who have difficulty accessing mainstream education for medical, emotional or social reasons and many others.
The key principle of our mentoring is the transformative power of safe and positive relationships. The role of mentors is simply being there to support a child or young person consistently over a period of around 12 months. This can take different forms depending on the age and needs of the children. Some take their mentees out for hot chocolate and a chat, others go for bike rides or play sports. Some go to the cinema, for dog walks, visit places of interest or those with younger children might just visit the park or play games. Sometimes mentoring occurs within school time & at school, other times it's outside of school. It's child-led and the emphasis is on building the relationship, not working through programmes or rigid targets although we do regularly review progress to ensure the child's needs are being met.
We are based in Gloucestershire and currently only work in Gloucestershire, and just into Worcestershire.
To find out more about our Mentoring Project please watch this short video.
An update on our waiting lists
The pandemic has been a challenge for us at WAM Youth and for the young people we work with. We are doing our best to maintain relationships and to offer consistent support, during continuously changing circumstances. When face to face sessions are not possible, we try to offer video calls, phone calls etc so that young people continue to feel supported.
We currently have a waiting list on all our mentoring projects. These are now closed. This means our staff are working at capacity and we are unfortunately unable to pick up urgent referrals because of the number of young people who are already on the lists. For more information on likely timescales, (if you have a young person for whom we have already accepted a referral) please discuss with our Head of Mentoring at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Pupils speak with pride about their involvement in ‘WAM Youth’, a local initiative that mentors young people, challenges discrimination and insists that, ‘We All Matter’."
Ofsted Report, Winchcombe School - December 2018
In order for mentoring to be safe for both our mentors and the young people, we require some level of parental involvement in the mentoring process. Usually this involves a home visit from one of our mentoring staff team, where the young person and their parents can find out more about what we do and how it all works. From time to time, when meeting in a home is not possible, meeting up happens in another way, e.g. in a park, school or community venue, or via a video call. Parent/carers will need to complete and sign forms to give us the information we need to work safely with their children.
Once we’ve identified a mentor for the young person, the child and the parent/carer are asked if they are happy with the choice of mentor before anything gets set up.
Another meeting happens at the point where we introduce the mentor to the young person. We ask parents to be involved in this so they get to meet the mentor and have the opportunity to feel comfortable with them. We run through how mentoring will work, boundaries around the mentoring relationship and everyone can exchange contact details.
During the mentoring year, we ask mentors to keep in touch with parent/carers so they are ‘in the loop’ with when and where mentoring sessions are happening. Parent/carers of younger children often ask for all of the communication with their child to come via them, which is fine.
Our mentors are trained volunteers who are all DBS checked and recruited via a thorough process of application, references, a 2 stage interview and 5 – 6 session training programme. Additional checks will be required for any potential mentor who has lived and/or worked overseas *
Our mentors come from all walks of life, experiences and faiths and there is a careful matching process between mentee and mentor so that the child will feel most comfortable and understood by their mentor. We are working with children aged between 7 and 17 in and around the Winchcombe, Bishops Cleeve, Tewkesbury & Cheltenham area, and in some of the Cotswold villages. We have a few young people in the Evesham area.
* we recognise that some of our volunteers may have worked with children and young people in other organisations and have not been asked for this information, but due to the nature of the role, working 1:1 with a young person, (which is a higher level of responsibility than working in a group), potential volunteers will be asked for a certificate of conduct, or in some cases additional references to cover their time spent overseas.
Gloucestershire Mentoring Project (GMP)
Since 2021, we have been working on a county-wide project alongside a number of other youth and community organisations including The Door, Breathe Youth, Young Gloucestershire,1625VIP, Thames Valley Partnership and The Nelson Trust.
We are grateful to CHK Foundation for funding our GMP mentoring. There are no costs to participants or referrers for these places.
Cheltenham mentoring places
We are grateful to Cheltenham Borough Council for enabling us to offer mentoring for young people in Cheltenham on a low income or from shielding families. These places are currently filled.
We have for some time been working with family groups. When siblings have individual mentors, we will, where possible offer some joint activities to the young people and their mentors to help build their relationship.
We are happy to take referrals for siblings within a family we are already working with.
For young people who have a Christian faith or who have been brought up within a Christian family, we offer a Christian mentoring programme. This runs in the same way as our main mentoring programme but we will endeavour to match the young person with an adult who shares their faith and can encourage them on their faith journey as well as every other aspect of their life.
Interest based Mentoring
We recognise that some young people are passionate about sport, gaming or art and we would love to use their interest as a means to engage with them.
We endeavour to match them with mentors who share their interests wherever possible.
What Does it Cost?
For the young person it costs nothing!
We charge schools and agencies a £165 set up fee and then from £1045-1595 per year.
(The cost range depends on the travel distances and complexity of support required i.e. to cover additional attendance at multi-agency meetings)
We are happy for schools to commission multiple mentoring places. Cost for 5 places for 1 year - £6050
We have a limited number of grant funded places on the programme thanks to grants. Our current grant funders are CHK Foundation, Cheltenham Borough Council, and Tewkesbury Rotary Club
In previous years our mentoring project has been supported financially by the Barnwood Trust, Gloucestershire Community Foundation, GCC’s Thriving Communities Fund, Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Fund, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Winchcombe Youth Hub, Winchcombe Rotary Club, Cleeve Hill 41 Club, Encounter Church, Winchcombe and various individuals. We are currently seeking further funding to continue this work. If this programme is something you would like to support financially, please contact us at email@example.com.
What Do I Do Next?
I would just like to find out more about mentoring
I would like to apply to volunteer as a mentor
I would like to donate to enable a young person to receive WAM mentoring