With the year at its end, we want to step back from reports and statistics and to focus on real stories from our schools. From across the country, from the central belt up through Aberdeenshire, we want to share our favourite moments from those whose lives are changed thanks to mentoring.
In our final blog of 2019, we’ll take a look at some of the experiences MCR young people, mentors and partners have had this year. We’ll be focusing on successes, both big and small, to show you #TheRippleEffect of mentoring.
Sarah Tremlett has seen a confidence boost in her young person since she started mentoring. Sarah said: “My mentee was extremely shy and quiet when I first met her. She also found it hard to form and express opinions of her own. Since meeting with her weekly, her confidence has slowly grown. My mentee will now happily chat away to me about school, family life and future plans. She has also started taking part in extra-curricular activities such as sports after school and helping out at a youth club. I am so proud of her!”
Despite only meeting since October, Diane Duncan has already seen a positive change in her young person.
She said: “I feel I have been able to establish a good rapport with my mentee and she seems comfortable with our chats we have. I’m pleased to say that already her attendance at school has improved and so has her attitude towards learning and concentrating in class. There is still the occasional hiccup but, by taking baby steps, I feel that she will see that she is taking the better route and will eventually begin to see the benefits and changes in herself.”
“When my mentor and I meet, we work on a business plan for a future restaurant I want to open. During our meetings, we look at cashflow, menus and overall costs. We even did a SWOT analysis looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the businesses. This is helpful for my future.
“I look forward to my meetings at the end of the week. My mentor is funny, she is calm and gives me choices. She treats me with respect. My mentor meetings calm me down and help me focus in class.”
Young person Nikki*, her mentor Kat and the school’s Pathways Coordinator, Laura, attended an Open Day for animal care at Oatridge College. Nikki was attending as she’s interested in applying to the course. Sounds like a fun and informative day for everyone involved!
It was a day of double celebrations recently for young person Victoria* and mentor Lynne. On top of it being Victoria’s birthday, she had also smashed her target of being in school, on time, three days out of five for two consecutive weeks!
Rachel* from Hillhead is a real film buff. So when Sue, Rachel’s mentor, heard about the Glasgow Film Theatre Youth Film Festival, she knew it was a perfect match! Rachel applied and gained a place on the programme. Staff at GFT were super supportive and she had a brilliant experience!
Rachel told us: “I learnt a lot about the film industry. I wouldn’t have heard about the programme if my mentor hadn’t told me about it.”
Sometimes, it’s the small things that make all the difference, as mentor Joe from North Ayrshire discovered.
He said: “The Pathways Coordinator was very helpful in finding an unused music room for our meetings on a Wednesday afternoon – this has helped with having a space where our conversation won’t be overheard or interrupted by passing students or teachers. It also helps with continuity, as he knows we’ll always be in the same place at the same time every week.”
David Lyttle was delighted when his mentee spontaneously created a new game for them to play. David explained: “I played finger football across two desks with my young person. A polystyrene ball and finger flicks through finger goals. After I took a 4-0 lead, I got beat 5-4… devastating! Young person’s spontaneous idea and it was fantastic.”
Young person Katie* and her mentor Julia have been meeting for around 5 weeks and have thoroughly enjoyed spending time together. Almost every meeting has run over the allotted 50 minute period as they’re having so much fun!
Jason*, from Clydebank High School, and his mentor, Patricia, have been bonding over an appreciation for photography. After Patricia loaned Jason a camera, the imagery he captured has been put on display. One of these places was an MCR coffee morning at the school, which welcomes all those associated with the programme. Keep it up, Jason!
These are just a handful of the good news stories shared with us from across the country. We always love hearing from our mentors about the differences they see in their mentee and from the young people themselves. We can’t wait to read what 2020 holds for you and young person!