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Our Volunteers

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world”

Dr. Seuss

Here at Starting Point our volunteers are our backbone. They are the heroes who listen to young people and support them through the good and bad times. Volunteers happily give up their time to ensure young people have somebody they can rely on and talk to about the difficulties they encounter. They do not ask for a thank you. They do not ask for a reward. They are not selfish and will not turn their backs on young people.

Since Starting Point began in 2012, we have had over 60 volunteers. The majority of our volunteers are local to the Reading area, mentoring local young people across the borough.

So what does volunteering at Starting Point involve?

Mentoring at Starting Point involves meeting up with a young person (a mentee) once a week. This could include anything, such as searching for jobs and writing a CV, to activities aimed at boosting a mentee’s confidence. Even if you just talk about what’s happened during the week, you will be increasing a mentee’s social skills. A lot of mentee find they have nobody to talk to, so you could make a massive difference in their lives.

However, Starting Point doesn’t only offer mentoring. We have volunteers who help with administration, media and design, and photography.

So do you or someone you know have something to offer Starting Point? You don’t need to be Superman or Wonder Woman. You just need to be kind, compassionate, and have the time to get to know a young person and understand the aspects of their lives.

If you can do this and want to learn new skills, then click below to get in touch.
Contact Us

Here’s what our volunteers said about volunteering with Starting Point:

“Volunteering a small amount of time once a week has the potential to change someone’s life.”

“The best thing about volunteering is seeing the mentees I work with grow in confidence.”

“I volunteer with Starting Point because I want to be able to help young people who are less fortunate than myself.”

Written by Calum Harbor
Starting Point Mentee and Community Journalist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Project Manager

Sam Lloyd is Starting Point’s Project Manager and has been at Starting Point since July 2016. Here he gives a short interview about his role, the highlights of his work, and his own interests.

What the role involves:

“In a nutshell, I oversee the running of project. This includes recruiting and training mentors, meeting and matching the young people, monitoring and supporting each mentoring match. I also manage the budget, connect with businesses and other services and strategically plan for the growth of the project. I am also a mentor to young people not yet ready to match to a volunteer.”

Rewards of the role:

“Seeing the lives of local young people transformed. What makes me love my job is knowing that we are not just supporting young people find a positive destination, but we are seeing the direction of their future change course.”

Highlights/Best bits:

The highlight is always at the end of mentoring, looking back with a young person at how far they have come and seeing them beam with pride in what they have achieved – Whatever that may be.”

Why volunteer at Starting Point?

“To come alongside someone, take a genuine interest in them, and support them as they journey through a difficult yet crucial stage in their life, is such a simple and easy thing to do. Yet it has a transforming impact.”

Typical day of work:

“Every day looks completely different as I am always meeting different people. This may be a mentor, a young person, a manager at a business, someone at school, another community group. I enjoy the excitement of each day being different and meeting people I would have never met otherwise.”

Hobbies and interests:

”I enjoy playing guitar and writing songs. I watch and play a lot of football. I have a son aged one so my favourite hobby is playing with him.”

Sam’s dream for Starting Point:

“I hope to grow Starting Point here in Reading without losing our relational approach. I also long to develop the project to a point where it can be replicated in other town across the region so that more young people can have access to a mentor who can journey with them into education, employment and training.”

New Website!

IT’S HERE!

No, not the ice cream van.

Our new website is here and has been redesigned with the help of our amazing volunteers to give you Starting Point! Here we will celebrate the work of our volunteers and share stories from across our community.

We hope these changes will raise awareness to Starting Point and the transforming impact mentoring has on the lives of local young people.

Over the next couple of months we will have an increased presence on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook with news about us and those who support us.

Keep your eyes peeled for regular blogs that are on opportunity to:

  • Tell the stories of our young people.
  • Celebrate the work of our volunteer mentors
  • Introduce key supporters of Starting Point in our community
  • Give updates of news and events

In the meantime, why not get to know our project manager?

Sam – Project Manager

Or you could go and find that ice cream van. Either way, we’re sure you will not be disappointed.