It’s hard to believe in just one month I will have been working at Young Gloucestershire for a year! Time has flown by and the project has grown from strength to strength, with a fantastic team of volunteer mentors driving forward at the frontline of the project to support young people in their next steps. We started from the ground up with this particular piece of work and we now have 43 mentoring relationships established, with 5 new mentee and mentor matches scheduled for initial meetings in the next 2 weeks.

To name but a few achievements of our mentors and mentees in the past 11 months, we have seen mentors raise just under £1000 in fundraising for the project. In addition to this, 10 young people have started working in various different jobs, 7 have started training or college courses and 3 are attending interviews this week for volunteering or work placements. This is just a small snapshot of the outcomes for some of the young people within the project, but for me the highlight has been getting to know individual mentors and mentees, and seeing them grow in both confidence and ability to make positive choices.

Mentors have demonstrated that they have a wealth of knowledge, from both professional and personal experiences, to pass on to young people. More than this they have a genuine desire to help our young people succeed. I have been bowled over time and time again by mentors patience, understanding and ability to remain positive. As a group of individuals they have given more than I ever expected when we started the project, and this has been inspiring for myself and the young people involved. Young people too have made overwhelming developments in the past 11 months. Some have spent the time building the confidence to meet outside of The Link centre and explore volunteering, others have secured a higher education course placement, work experience and job! More than anything young people have demonstrated that with the right one to one support their potential to succeed is very much realised.

In the next 12 months there are lots of exciting things planned. Firstly and most importantly we will continue to grow the mentoring project so that we can reach more NEET young people who need a helping hand to get into work, education or training. We will be hoping to do this in a variety of ways, via corporate mentoring, working with a larger group of young people across the county and continuing to raise funds so that anyone involved in the project has access to the best possible support and training. I am extremely excited about the coming year, and all that is really left to say is a big thank you to everyone involved for all of their support and commitment over the past 12 months. You have made my first year at YG one to remember!