£6k for 1 year

Chiltern Lighthouse Mentoring is an early-intervention service working with children 10-14 years old. They have built up an excellent record of helping young people in the Chiltern and Wycombe districts of Buckinghamshire.

Their mentoring project began in 2005 as a result of growing concerns about young people. It had become noticeable that many young people in their area were experiencing a wide range of complex issues, including not attending school, substance abuse, criminal activity and generally anti-social behaviour.

Referrals can come from any source that deals with children and identifies the need for mentoring. Mentoring is done over an extended period, typically a session a week for a year to 18 months. Mentors work on a one-to-one basis with a young person to build relationship / friendship and gain trust. The aim of the mentoring is to build self-esteem and reliance. Mentors can not solve a young person’s problems, but can encourage them to find solutions for themselves. Although trained in mentoring, mentors are volunteers who give up their time and are not professional.

Their experience has demonstrated that participants respond positively to volunteer mentors and develop strong bonds with them. Young people soon learn that their mentor spends time with them because they genuinely want to, not because they get paid.

WWMT is supporting a Mentor Co-ordinator to support and manage the mentors and agencies that Chiltern Lighthouse engage with.

Mentoring has changed the way I look at life. The satisfaction of working one to one with a young person and helping them through a difficult time in life cannot be put into words.” – Chris – mentor since 2005.

Since I have been meeting with my mentor she has helped me to turn my life around. I now have a steady job and I have started studying to get a proper qualification.” – Jackie, 18yrs