Volunteer as a Mentor

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.

M: 07864040466 | E: sam.lloyd@themustardtree.org

Remote Mentoring

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. 

To find out more or to make a referral:

Contact Us

Advance: young people aged 11 – 19 who are at risk of becoming NEET upon leaving education.

Aspire: young people aged 15 – 25 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET)

Action Media Training

Action Media is a young person led production company who will be making a documentary about young people’s journey into education, employment or training.

During COVID-19 Action Media are unable to meet face to face so all training will be done online via our Instagram page @actionmedia_

We set weekly online challenges through video focusing on techniques such as:

  • Camera work
  • Designing logos
  • Storyboarding
  • Sound recording
  • Branding
  • Planning videos
  • Interviewing

Follow us here

Social Media Challenges

Over the last few weeks as the COVID-19 situation worsens and the UK has been called into lockdown. We have been trying to think of ways to engage young people to stop isolation and prevent boredom. We are passionate about helping young people learn new skills and create community.

So we have been releasing daily challenges on our Instagram page @startingpointreading. So if you are a young person aged 11-25 and want to engage with us follow us on Instagram.

Follow us here

Important Update

Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak and following advice from the government, Starting Point will be looking a little different for the foreseeable future. As a staff team we will be working from home from now on.

Please keep up to date with all we are doing via our social media platforms and our website. And do keep supporting what we are doing. We may no longer be able to meet young people face to face but there is still a huge need for vulnerable young people and as a staff team we will not be stopping. Let us know if you can help or support us during this time.

YOUNG PEOPLE & MENTORS – The majority of our updates will be via our instagram page @startingpointreading so do give that a follow. From monday we will be posting daily challenges and interactions so keep your eyes peeled over on instagram soon.

Join the Team

We are recruiting for a PROGRAMME MANAGER. The main purpose of the role is to manage, deliver and develop Starting Point’s two mentoring programmes 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 37.50 hrs per week, which includes some out of office and evening work. 

For more info and to apply click here: https://charityjob.co.uk/jobs?keywords=programme+management&location=reading&radius=20&minsalary=19000&jobId=695739

Introducing… Aspire Mentoring

Aspire Mentoring supports young people aged 15-25 throughout their journey of attaining, sustaining and thriving within education, employment and training. We do this through carefully matching a young person to a mentor who acts as a consistent role model, tailoring the support to each individuals unique needs and aspirations.

Our mentoring has a relational and holistic approach focusing on practical support, such as CV writing or interview skills, and social-emotional support, such as building confidence and self-esteem.

It follows a Traffic Light Journey which ensures that young people are supported not only into, but also within education, employment and training to find out more and to get involved click here.

Introducing… Advance Mentoring

Advance Mentoring is one-to-one mentoring for young people aged 11-19, who are most at risk of exclusion and/or are likely to become NEET upon leaving education.

We ran a successful pilot with 4 schools and colleges mentoring those ‘most at risk’ of becoming NEET. 75% of young people left school/college with a positive destination in place, with the remaining 25% choosing to continue mentoring post education where they are now being supported to take steps into employment.

We are so excited to properly launch advance mentoring, to find out more and to get involved click here.

BCF SHOWCASE 2019

What comes to mind when somebody says the word ‘Berkshire’? Likely the first thing you’ll think of is the town of Windsor and Windsor Castle. Perhaps Legoland or maybe even large towns such as Reading and Maidenhead. But what if I tell you there is a vast number of generous supporters connected with local charities through the Berkshire Community Foundation. The work these charities do transforms not only the lives of those they work with, but also the community around them.

On 16th May 2019, over 80 guests gathered together at the beautiful Ascot Racecourse for Berkshire Community Foundation’s Celebrating Impact: Showcase Event, an event celebrating the achievements and developments of local charities and projects. The groups were invited because of their strong focus and impact on those in need or who are disadvantaged.

Beginning with canapes and drinks, the evening transitioned to a small awards ceremony introduced by BBC Radio Berkshire Sports Presenter Ady Williams, and Chris Dodson OBE DL, Chair of Trustees at BCF, starting with a video showing BCF’s highlights over the past year. Each award winner was introduced through a similar videos with interviews from staff/volunteers and those they have helped. The six awards and winners were:

Content Guru Sponsor Award  – Connecting Communities in Berkshire

David Brownlow Charitable Foundation Sponsor Award – Building for the Future

Ascot Racecourse Supports Sponsor Award – Aik Saath

Vital Signs Award – The Mustard Tree – Starting Point

Police and Crime Commissioner Award – Mock Trials

Mary Bayliss Award – Parents and Children Together

Lady Cathrine Stevenson DL presented the Mary Bayliss Award, which was named in honour and memory of Mary Bayliss, the president of BCF and former Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, who sadly passed in March 2019. The evening was brought to a close by Ady Williams and Chris Dodson.

It was an honour and privilege to attend BCF’s showcase event and to receive an award that celebrates the invaluable support and work from our staff, volunteers, supporters, and also our mentees.

It was a real privilege being invited to such a well put together and celebratory evening. Berkshire Community Foundation have been key in the success of Starting Point, not only in awarding grants but in their ongoing support and encouragement.

Sam Lloyd – Starting Point Manager

We look forward to working with BCF for many years to come.

For more information on the evening, please click on and follow the link to BCF’s own blog about the ceremony: http://www.berkshirecf.org/showcase2019

Starting Point Monthly Update

It’s been a busy two months at Starting Point since our last update. Check out the list below to see what activities we have taken part in.

MARCH


11th – Planning meeting for the new Mentoring Hub. – Due to open in autumn this year we are set to have a newly renovated Mentoring Hub at our central offices.

13th – 27th – Weekly Social Groups designed for Starting Point young people to grow in confidence, learn new skills, meet peers and try something new. – This was run in partnership with St Laurence.

19th – 20th – Held interviews for our new Mentoring Lead – This is to meet the significant growth of the project enabling us to mentor more young people. 

25th 26th and 27th– Transition Mentoring at UTC, Cranbury College and Reading Girls School. – https://startingpoint.org.uk/transition-mentoring

APRIL

2nd – Partnership Meeting with the leaders of Reading Family Church on of the co-founders and long term supporters of Starting Point. http://www.readingfamilychurch.org.uk

3rd – Social Group away day at Path Hill. – Making campfires, cooking campfire pizza. https://www.pathhill.com/index.php/home

10th – Talk at the local VISA offices. A chance to share about the impact Starting Point has the lives of young people. 

11th – Young Person and the Project Manager did a day’s volunteering together at a local community garden. This was with TVC (The conservation volunteers) www.tcv.org.uk

15th – Keren Newnham, our new Mentoring Lead started. Find out more about Keren https://startingpoint.org.uk/meet-the-team/

26th – Mock Interviews – We held mock interviews for 2 young people. This was an opportunity for them to develop their interview skills and grow in confidence. The feedback from these interviews is then worked on with their mentor.

Thank you to all involved in the activities above.

We’ll be back with another update in July, so stay tuned!