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WSP Solicitors Support Young Gloucestershire’s Mentoring Programme.
Young Gloucestershire are WSP Solicitors’ current charity partner for 2022-2024. Members of WSP Solicitors are actively participating in the Young Gloucestershire mentoring programme, a fantastic initiative run by the charity.
We spoke with Young Gloucestershire (YG) about the significance of this mentoring initiative and its impact on the youth of Gloucestershire.
What does the Young Gloucestershire mentoring programme offer?
Young Gloucestershire’s mentoring programme matches a more experienced individual with another who is eager to learn or develop by following their guidance. The relationship provides a positive role model who can offer practical advice and guidance using their own lived experience to help guide their mentee. The mentor can be a volunteer or a paid professional.
Mentoring can be delivered to both young people and adults. It is a one-to-one relationship in which individuals are paired together to learn from one another. Mentoring relationships often have specific goals in mind, whether it’s career mentoring or a particular aim and goal of the individual involved.
YG currently has two projects working with young people from ages 10 up to 16 who have been facing challenges in their lives and would benefit from the support of a positive role model. The projects offer support for six months to a year and, in some cases, beyond. Therefore, they are looking for people who can commit to a minimum of six to twelve months, offering one to three hours per week of their time.
Why is mentoring important?
Honor Binning, Young Gloucestershire Delivery Manager (Prince’s Trust Team), commented, “‘Mentoring services provide a long-term ‘safe space’ for anyone who requires a sustained, trusted relationship with an adult. It is a one-to-one, non-judgmental relationship in which an individual mentor voluntarily gives time to support and encourage another. This relationship is typically developed at a time of transition in the mentee’s life and lasts for a significant and sustained period.”
Young people who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system, have chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed. Building a trusted relationship with a reliable adult like a mentor significantly reduces the chances of these things affecting children and young people later in life.”
More information on ACE’s can be found at https://www.actionaces.org/
Chloe Perez – initial experiences as a mentor.
Chloe Perez, a Trainee Solicitor in WSP Solicitors’ commercial department, shared her experiences, “I got involved by filling out a volunteer form and sending it to the Young Gloucestershire team. I was contacted shortly after for an informal interview at the Young Gloucestershire HQ and had weekly training sessions for 8 weeks. To get involved, all you need to do is contact Young Gloucestershire, and they will be happy to help.”
“The scheme is targeted at 11-14-year-old girls who have had Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) or are at risk or involved in the criminal justice system. This county-wide project works alongside several other youth and community organizations. I am assigned a young person who has been specifically matched with me based on my young person’s experiences and ambitions. I provide practical advice and emotional support to help girls and young women build resilience and grow in confidence.”
“My initial experiences have been very positive. My first meeting with my young person went really well, and I am looking forward to helping her build her confidence and having a positive influence in her life.”
How can people get involved?
For additional details and to explore opportunities, please visit their website at https://www.youngglos.org.uk/volunteer-with-yg/. You can also access the online application form through the provided link. For inquiries or further information, feel free to reach out to them at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.