Time to Refocus on a New School Year

After all the trials and tribulations of the last 5 months, we can now excitedly look to the upcoming school term and, with that, the hope of a fresh start. With this in mind, we are passionate that mentoring will resume for existing relationships and be open to new potential mentors, too!

We’re sure that many of you will have questions about mentoring going forward, so let’s look at how we’ve adapted the mentor programme and sign-up journey so that everyone can reap the rewards of mentoring while staying safe.

Face-to-face mentoring has been the staple of the MCR Pathways programme since it began in 2007. However, with various measures put in place to try and stop the spread of COVID-19, we’ve had to adjust our model so that both mentee and mentor remain safe while still benefiting from “meeting” weekly.

While meetings have been unable to take place in schools these last few months, many have been able to keep in touch through Virtual Mentoring. We will continue to offer flexibility as much as possible and in line with each local authority, including:

Online Calls & Phone Calls 💻 – Virtual meetings have been a revelation during lockdown, allowing many to stay in touch digitally. We have been able to reconnect many mentoring relationships this way which has been the closest option to replicate face-to-face mentoring, while adhering to the lockdown rules. While this is a great option, the equipment isn’t always available in school or for some mentors. For this reason, we are also working to facilitate phone calls in some cases. Please check with your PC to see what options are available to you.

Emails & Text Messages 📱 – From the beginning of lockdown through to the summer, our Pathways Coordinators have worked hard to communicate updates to both mentors and young people. PCs have acted as messengers, allowing mentoring relationships to continue to flourish. If you are a mentor that hasn’t heard from your young person, we know it has been hard and we are working with the school to reestablish relationships in the new year.

Socially-distanced Meetings in School 🏫 – As schools have been closed for the past 4 months, meeting in school hasn’t really been possible for our current mentor and mentee relationships. However, with schools planning to go back soon full-time, this is something we hope will be possible as lockdown continues to ease.

These measures will differ from school-to-school, so your Pathways Coordinator will be in touch as soon as they have a clearer picture from their school and your young person.

Thank you so much for your patience through all of this ❤️

We’ve also adapted our Mentor Journey to take you through the majority of the process online, where possible. Everything from the initial Info Session right up to training will have an online option. Here’s how it works:

Info Sessions 👩🏿‍🏫 – Our introduction to the MCR programme is normally presented at a location near you, but we’ve recorded an info session for you to watch online. Here you’ll be introduced to who we are, what’s involved in mentoring and more. It should take no longer than 20 minutes and finishes with a short quiz.

1:1 Conversations 🤝🏻 – This is the part of the journey where we get to know you a little better and ask you questions about your personality, hobbies, school life and career path. These can be conducted by phone or a camera-facing internet call. We will also chat to you about your PVG online form.

Training 🤔 – The final requirement before being matched with a young person is training. This is usually a 2-3-hour session involving group discussions.

As lockdown begins to ease, we are sourcing locations in your area where we can safely deliver Mentor Training Sessions. Knowing you will have received the best training experience, we hope that you can feel inspired and confident in building a long-lasting relationship with a young person. We are developing an online training solution as an alternative option for those who are unable to attend a location where training is being presented.

Next Steps 👉 – Once training has been completed and your PVG application has been approved, you will be put forward to the matching panel. Here you will be potentially matched with a suitable young person in the near-future. Exciting times!

Mentoring 👩‍🦰 👧 – That’s it! You’re ready! You’ve now been matched with a young person and you will meet them for one hour per week, during school hours. We can’t wait to hear about how your mentoring relationship flourishes!

We realise there’s still questions both current and potential mentors will have in regards to mentoring as lockdown eases. Rest assured we’re on-hand to answer any question you may have. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on: mentoring.services@mcrpathways.org

As a new school year is upon us, you can #BeTheBridge between a young person’s talent and their life opportunities. Sign up to become a mentor today!

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