Community Mentor (South Glos)

22nd سبتمبر 2021

We support young people aged 16 – 25 who are at risk of becoming homeless or are already homeless.  We have four offices, over 100 staff and support up to 500 young people at any given time, about 2500 annually.

Role Description:

Community Mentors are reliable, positive, figures in a young person’s life.  Community Mentoring offers young people the chance to build positive relationships with members of the community who they might otherwise never have had the chance to meet.
Community Mentors:

  • Are matched with young people within the local community
  • Provide one-to-one mentoring
  • Empower mentees to increase confidence and make positive choices
  • Listen to, encourage and inspire young people
  • Are reliable, personable and willing to commit and share interests
  • Travel to meet young people at a variety of locations around South Glos
  • Take a proactive role in the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults, as per 1625ip Safeguarding Policies and Procedures and explained in volunteer training

Mentoring can transform lives, both for the Mentor and the Mentee.

We are currently looking for individuals interested in volunteering as a Community Mentor in South Gloucestershire, who will focus on helping young people develop confidence, self-esteem and improved interpersonal skills and wellbeing.

You’ll do this by bringing a positive attitude, outside perspective, and your own personal experiences. Sharing your community, hobbies and interests, and supporting a young person to develop their own. You will also act as a positive, reliable role model and responsible adult in their life.

Mentors are an empathetic motivating figure in a young person’s life. Mentoring offers young people the chance to be inspired, supported and encouraged to seek out opportunities that they might not have previously considered.

The young people we work with have all either been at risk of homelessness or have been homeless. They may be care leavers, have spent time in custody or be deemed at risk of custody. They may have experienced poor mental and/or physical health, addiction, been the victim of a crime or exploitation. They may be a parent. They may be an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child. This may be the first time they’ve lived in South Gloucestershire or they may have grown up and have family here.

For the past year and a half we have been running a successful, mentoring project in South Gloucestershire, and we have plans continue this work for a further year – recruiting up to 12 further volunteer mentors to do so.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we are offering young people mentoring sessions over phone and video call, with some face to face distanced and ‘Covid secure’ meetings in the community if in line with government guidelines at the time, and wanted by both mentor and mentee. In recent months the majority of mentoring has moved back to face to face.

The length of intervention is likely to vary from individual to individual, however we ask that Community Mentors can commit to at least 2hrs a fortnight, for 9months alongside semi-regular supervisions (roughly every 3 months) and reflective practice sessions (once every 6 weeks) as a minimum. There will be some ‘admin time’ required for this role in addition.

If you have any questions about the roles or the project as a whole, please contact: Sarah Hickie, Community Mentoring Project Coordinator (South Glos) at sarah.hickie@1625ip.co.uk

About You

You don’t have to have had any formal experience of mentoring to be considered for this role, as full training is provided. What you do need however are good listening skills, patience and enthusiasm to talk about your own experiences and share knowledge as appropriate. As well as regular time to give, and an ability to commit fully to this role.

You’ll also have empathy and understanding of the needs of young people who have experienced a disrupted education, and homelessness, and the barriers they face.

You’ll be flexible, assertive and resilient, able to develop effective working relationships with young people and engage with a variety of personalities.

We welcome applications from anyone, but due to the backgrounds and interests of our young people, and some imbalances currently in the project makeup, we are particularly interested in hearing from potential applications who:

  • Identify as female and offended and/or were considered (or now consider themselves in hindsight) at risk of offending in their youth. Please note that appointment is subject to an enhanced DBS check and any offending history will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Identify as female, and have professional experience of working with young women involved in risky behaviours
  • Live in South Gloucestershire and engage with the local community here
  • Spent time in care
  • Describe their ethnicity as Black, and/or consider themselves as part of a minority ethnicity group. In particular we are looking for mentors who are Kurdish (Iraqi, Afghani or Iranian), Sudanese or Eritrean
  • Have lived experience of homelessness, and/or unstable accommodation including sofa surfing

Please note despite us feeling it is helpful for mentors to have lived experience that relates to their mentee’s experiences this is not essential for a successful match. In addition, we are not expecting any volunteer to be an expert in the unique needs of the groups noted above, and we provide support via dedicated roles within our organisation to these groups – with mentoring an additional offer to some young people, alongside this. We will discuss with you and assess your preparedness to work with a mentee from the group above at the application, interview and matching stage.

When and Where:

Your role will be based virtually from home, and at locations in the local community which are arranged with the young person you are mentoring when safe to do so.

Commitment:

You must be willing to commit to at least two hours a fortnight for at least 9 months, as a minimum, once matched with a young person following completion of training. This is crucial as relationships take time to develop. Please note finding you a suitable mentee match can take up to 3 months from point of recruitment.

Requirements:

  • Able to take time out to meet with a young person at least once a fortnight, but ideally weekly
  • A desire to help change a vulnerable young person’s life for the better, and skills needed to do so including empathy, reliability, enthusiasm and listening skills
  • Can commit to 9 hours of training (spread over three sessions)
  • Able to attend 6 weekly reflective practice sessions with other mentors

Able to attend 1hr supervisions every 3 months but engage regularly with role supervisor, and complete and submit regular meeting logs, outside of this.

Notes:

  • Appointment is subject to interview, two satisfactory references and an enhanced DBS check
  • Full induction, regular support, supervision and reflective practice sessions
  • Reimbursement of out of pocket expenses such as travel and costs associated with mentoring, e.g refreshments at a café

Reference available upon request after 6months of volunteering

In order for your application to be considered in time for our next round of Volunteer Mentor Training please apply before end of day Wednesday 1st December 2021.

Volunteering Application Form

  • 1. Contact Information

  • If you have any questions, or would prefer this form to be emailed or posted to you, please email volunteering@1625ip.co.uk
  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • 2. SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • 3. REASONS FOR VOLUNTEERING

  • 4. References

  • Please provide two referees. In absence of a professional, employment or educational referee we can accept a reference from a support worker or character reference (excluding friends and family members)
  • 5. CONVICTIONS

  • We want to ensure that our workers, volunteers and clients are not placed at risk. As 1625 Independent People meets the requirements of exempted questions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, certain roles may be required to undergo a check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Offences do not necessarily mean that your application will be turned down. We give careful consideration to providing opportunities for ex-offenders.
  • 6. DISABILITY / Access Requirements

  • 7. Volunteering Diversity and Inclusion Monitoring

  • We are committed to make sure all our Volunteers are not discriminated against on the grounds of protected characteristics. By providing information about yourself, you will help us adhere to equal opportunities best practice and to identify any barriers to diversity among our volunteers. You do not have to answer all the questions but the more information you give, the more effective we can be. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.
  • Disability Definition The Equality Act 2010 states “A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” We fully support the social model of disability and we recognise that people with different impairments or medical conditions can experience different barriers.
  • I confirm that the details I have given in this application are accurate. If my application is successful I understand that any false statement or failure to disclose information may result in the end of any position offered to me.