What happens after Counselling?
Mentoring services are provided by Kids Inspire as a step-down service for children who have completed a course of counselling but continue to need some support. It is also provided for children who don’t need professional psycho-therapist counselling services but need to talk to someone who is not family or school.
In an era of Covid lockdown the social lives of children and young people are severely curtailed. They may be confined to home, or restricted to their school ‘bubble’. Just having a chat with a mate’s dad is no longer an option for many children. Talking about personal ‘stuff’ with parents can be embarrassing or worrying. A child or young person may be living in a single parent household with no male role model, or female role model, to interact with; or perhaps their parents are going through a divorce.
Mentors are usually volunteers with a keen interest in children’s physical and emotional health. A mentor may be a retired school teacher, or a part-time parent. They must, however, have the time to devote to a child in need. Prospective mentors are vetted for suitability and then receive comprehensive training. This training includes safeguarding and child protection as well as Disclosure and Barring Service checks
Mentors can then go on to help children for many years. Mentors are matched with a child or young person so that they have experiences or hobbies in common. A mentor may have responsibility for just a single child or young person or in rare cases up to three, but this all depends on the time a mentor can commit. There is currently a shortage of mentors.
What does a Mentor do?
Anything. A mentor is another set of ears. He or she can offer advice or just listen without complaining or judging or being ‘too busy just now’. Issues mentors deal with include bullying and school avoidance, loneliness, domestic violence; and in the era of Covid there is the fear of illness and death. As lockdown eases the opportunities to meet increase and children and their mentors will be in a position to do just normal stuff again – have a cup of coffee and a chat, or go fishing.
Young people are supported through difficult periods and life transitions. With mentoring, children and young people have increased confidence and self-esteem. They are motivated and more likely to engage with education and employment opportunities. They develop positive activities, communication skills and relationships.
GlobalGiving Covid-19 Relief Fund
The Covid-19 Relief Fund was generous enough to support the campaign to raise funds to help children whose emotional and mental wellbeing was being damaged by Covid-19. The project received a grant of $5,000, which is £3,614.54. It costs £408 to train a mentor and this grant will enable Kids Inspire to train 9 mentors to support children and young people in this difficult era of Covid.