Starting Point is an exciting Project that provides mentoring and creates opportunities for young people who face disadvantage. A great opportunity has arisen for an excellent communicator with experience in leading and inspiring a team as they deliver vital support for young people in Reading. We are looking for someone with management experience, skilled in developing local partnerships, strategic in project development and planning and who thrives in establishing and growing effective initiatives that enable transformation in the lives of young people. This role has clear progression opportunities as the project continue to flourish both in Reading and further afield. The main purpose of the Centre Manager is to manage the Starting Point Reading’s operations in accordance with the project’s values and objectives, and within The Mustard Tree’s ethos and vision. This is a full-time position of 37.5 hours a week (including some out of office hours).
Fear, uncertainty, confusion are just some of what my mentee was experiencing when COVID hit and lockdown was enforced. Our mentoring was focused on trying to get out of the house and trying to take steps to get back into school and slowly interact with society again. Anxiety and panic attacks stopped my mentee from venturing out, going to school, seeing friends and now all the work she had been doing and making great progress just stopped. What now? Where do we go from here? What to focus on? We had to go back to the drawing board and relook at how she wanted to proceed. It was a challenge to navigate at first, but then we started to look at what she could do, what she could influence, how she could choose how to think and choose what feelings she could focus on. Suddenly she became more grounded and realised there were certain things she could move forward with. She focused on what she could do for school and got in touch with her teachers and tutors. It turned out because exams weren’t going ahead this year, she was able to submit all the work she had been doing with her tutors whilst not being in school and that would be enough evidence to get her GSCE’s which she never thought possible. This really shifted her whole outlook and she saw hope and gained motivation to focus on getting herself ready mentally for school in September. The sessions from there on in have been great and just amazing to witness the transformation and to see her start trusting herself.
My mentee started an accomplishment journal where she notes down all the small and big things she achieved through lockdown so that she can look back and see that when life pulls the carpet from under you that she can trust that she is resilient and that it resides within her. That she can get through this and anything else that comes her way. It is just a matter of breaking things down, taking deep breaths and remembering she can choose how she shows up and that she has the power and the strength within her to get through anything.
We are passionate about thanking those who support Starting Point.
SEGRO have generously given financially to Starting Point through their Centenary Fund which is intended to help young and disadvantaged people into employment. The grant was made possible through the Berkshire Community Foundation. We are so grateful for this generous gift so thank you SEGRO and BCF, your generosity and support will enable the project to reach more young people.
To see how your business can support us please click below.
Starting Point’s Mentoring Toolbox provides resources that enables our mentors to equip the young people they are working with to help them move forward.
Our mentoring is holistic and so we have used Positive Psychology to shape the toolbox – the scientific study of how humans thrive, or those elements that make life worth living! We look to help our young people to develop in all these areas: positive emotions, vitality, engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement.
If you’re a volunteer mentor click the button below to access the toolbox via our online portal.
Starting Point is a charitable mentoring project passionate about seeing transformation in local young lives aged 11 – 25 through tailored, holistic and relational support. The project meets the young people exactly where they are on their life journey, enabling them to connect with a local mentor, who can provide consistent, reliable practical and emotional support as they begin transforming their future. During this season of COVD 19, young people need our help more than ever. Many are scared, confused, and distressed about their future. Unemployment is at an all-time high. Many have dropped out of education as the barrier to enable connection is too great to overcome
Starting Point offer a simple yet effective model – local reliable volunteers, consistently mentoring local young people, supported by local businesses, with no wait time to receive support and no time limit to how long support is offered. This model creates the space required to build genuine relationships, with a tailored and holistic focus. Our mentors take time to get to know their mentee, taking a genuine interest and helping them grow in areas such as confidence, self-esteem, decision making and aspiration. The support mentors offer is both practical and social-emotional.
We are currently recruiting volunteers who can be trained as remote mentors, with the aim to move to face-to-face mentoring when the government allows. If you would like to be part of transforming a young life in Reading, get in touch today.
Contact the Project Manager Sam Lloyd for more details.
During this period of no physical face-to-face contact, we can offer
Remote Mentoring either over the phone, via video chat and/or email for both
Aspire Mentoring and Advance Mentoring (see below for criteria).
We tailor all our mentoring to the individual’s specific needs, focusing on practical support, as well as social-emotional support.