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Mentors required from business community

Posted by Waveney District Council on 13 November 2017 | Comments

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A successful mentoring programme for Lowestoft students is seeking new volunteers from local businesses.

The programme, developed by Waveney District Council in partnership with Lowestoft Rising and three Lowestoft high schools, provides students with support to help improve their academic progression.

Over 100 young people from East Point Academy, Ormiston Denes Academy and Pakefield High School have benefited from the programme over the last two years. By working with mentors from a range of backgrounds including the Council, health services, Suffolk Police, faith groups and housing associations, the programme helps the students address their concerns, such as low self-esteem, confidence issues and low aspirations.

Head teachers from the participating schools and Cllr Stephen Ardley, Waveney’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities recently signed a pledge to continue to support the mentoring programme.

Cllr Ardley said:

“From feedback we have received, we know the programme is making a positive difference to the students, raising aspirations and confidence and helping them to reach their full potential.

Just a small amount of time with a positive role model can make a huge difference to the students and we hope that more volunteers will come forward, especially from the business community, to become mentors.”

Anthony Walker, Head Teacher at Pakefield High School said:

“We are proud to be part of such a dynamic mentoring programme that enables our students to develop a purposeful relationship with a role model who encourages them to overcome their barriers to learning.

This positive relationship provides a foundation to ensure the young people develop effective strategies that enable them to fulfil their full potential.”

Mentor training, provided by Access Community Trust, is given to the volunteers and has to date been funded by the East Suffolk Partnership – 55 volunteers have now been trained through the programme. Each volunteer completes a personal profile which enables the schools to effectively align the mentor with their selected students.

Volunteers are required to undertake a two day training course which covers essential topics including safeguarding; a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, facilitated by the school, is also necessary. Each volunteer will receive additional safeguarding instruction based on each school’s individual policy.

For more information about becoming a mentor, or for any questions, please contact Richard Best on 01502 523605 or email activecommunities.wdc@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

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