News and Blogs

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

Thank You McDonalds!

We are passionate about thanking those who support Starting Point.

Thank you to McDonalds who have helped support our work at Starting Point by providing work experience opportunities for multiple young people, allowing them to gain the experience they need to enter into work. Daniel, one of our young people has been working at McDonalds for 6 months you can watch his story here.

To see how your business can support us please click below.

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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.

Thank you to The FSP Foundation

// THANK YOU TO THE FSP FOUNDATION //

We are passionate about thanking those who support Starting Point.

Thank you to The FSP Foundation – a separate grant making charitable foundation set up by Field Seymour Parkes LLP (FSP), a full service legal practice that provide pragmatic solution driven advice for both business and personal affairs. As part of their commitment to CSR, FSP have set up The FSP Foundation with the aim of benefitting and serving local registered charities in the Thames Valley area. The FSP Foundation has sponsored one of our young people for this year as they journey into education, employment or training. This has already provided the young person with a mentor and a mock interview demonstrating FSP’s commitment to making real difference to local’s lives.

Thank You Amito!

We are passionate about thanking those who support Starting Point.

Thank you to AMITO – experts in cloud, collocation and connectivity, who have sponsored a young person as they journey into education, employment or training. Plus a generous donation towards our ‘Young Person Support Fund’ allows us to support multiple young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with interview clothes, travel to interviews and work related documentation. Therefore, this sponsorship and donation are removing barriers and making a real impact to local lives and the wider community.

To see how your business can support us please click below.

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Thank You Pega UK!

We are passionate about thanking those who support Starting Point.

Thank you to PEGA UK who enabled some of their team to share there skills over 3 days at Starting Point as part of the their Corporate Social Responsibility. In their day job the PEGA team offer pathways to making digital transformation a reality. However, through simply offering their time and skills at Starting Point they played their part in supporting us to see a transformation in the lives of local young people.

To see how your business can support us please click below.

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A Volunteer Mentor’s Blog – Emma’s Story

I was inspired to write this, my first ever blog, by my mentee who is a regular contributor to the Starting Point Facebook pages and twitter feed. For me, this is exactly what Starting Point is about – inspiring each other. 

As a mentor I get a lot out of our relationship. In a previous role I managed a large team and genuinely relished the challenge and opportunity to invest in and develop people. Career progression meant I graduated from a role managing people to a role managing product. Over time I realised how much I missed this human element and as such, use Starting Point to supplement my career goals. It also helps me keep a hand in management should I ever wish to return to a people focused role in the future. 

I found Starting Point through a simple Google search and went along to Mentor induction training where I first met Sam, the Project Manager. This was my first exposure to Traffic Light Mentoring, a way to track progression in the mentoring cycle – with Starting Point you are fully supported with the tools you need to be a great mentor. It was a revolution for me that contributing / giving back didn’t just mean money but could mean time. Volunteering with Starting Point is flexible, all mentoring sessions are agreed direct with your mentee, and you can make such a difference in an hour a week. Regular sessions where you share ideas and review the week are a key part of the structure. You should be willing to prep and invest in this time – and you’ll want to – because you do really get so much out of these sessions. 

I see my main role as a mentor to encourage and instil confidence with a little bit of practical advice along the way – the hard work is really done by the mentee! Throughout my time with my mentee we have worked on their CV, submitted numerous online applications and prepped for interviews. This is alongside discussing the latest Game of Thrones and our favourite authors, plus what’s going on in the news this week. As a product of these sessions, my mentee has got to a final stage interview AND hot off the press, has just received their first job offer. I am so proud to see what mentee has achieved and am thrilled to have been just a small part of their success. 

Based on this experience, I am so bought in to Starting Point that I now work with them on their LinkedIn page and am working with the team to build a plan to approach local businesses and engage them with Starting Point. As a business there are so many ways to get involved, whether that is to donate, provide work experience opportunities or support those who wish to volunteer themselves and become mentors. It is amazing to be so involved in a local project where you can share in their ambition and goals and genuinely make a difference to the local community.

In terms of mentoring, I genuinely look forward to our sessions and would encourage anyone with a nurturing nature to get in touch with Starting Point. You could make a difference, and even make a friend.