Our Mentoring project aims to mentor both primary and high school children that may be involved with crime and drugs. Our Mentoring team consists of individuals with first hand experience on the consequences of being involved in illegal activities. With their first hand knowledge they educate and steer children away from violence, pushing them onto the right path. Our various mentors give talk to many schools around Liverpool de-glamorise gang culture and highlighting the consequences of being involved with the ‘wrong crowd’. At Cells we are adamant on ensuring our youth aren’t being exploited and our protected from gangs.
We are proud to state that our mentoring program has helped to improve and shift perspectives in many young adolescences, encouraging them to choose the right path and invest in their future. It’s vital that are youth have positive role models to aspire towards, with our mentor program provide this to troubled teens. CELLS mentors support young people with low, medium, or complex needs who face various personal and social issues, this includes but is not limited to:
Family Issues, including those in care
Attainment and engagement, including those with additional needs
Attendance and behaviour at school
Social, emotional, and personal well-being.
Gender identity and sexuality concerns
Criminal involvement or those deemed at risk/peripheral
Each young person is assessed on referral to ensure CELLS mentoring support is appropriate for them.
Mentors assist their academic and personal progress by identifying personal goals and creating a tailored action plan to help them achieve those goals.
One-to-one support can be given in our community centre setting, schools or at a location where the young person feels more comfortable. An assessment will be made by CELLS mentors in collaboration with the young person to identify and determine a suitable plan for mentoring sessions.
A mentor can have a significant influence in guiding young people already involved in criminal activities, or who at risk of such, onto the right path. By listening to their concerns and ambitions, a mentor can provide relevant advice to build up a mentee’s confidence and help them find apprenticeships, a job, or move back into education.
Not all young people learn or develop in the same way, and mentoring provides a tailored approach to help each young person with their individual needs and goals. The need for this support to keep young people in education is widely accepted, but also reaffirmed by reports such as that from the SedEC, which asserts that at least 50% of the UK’s prison population were expelled from school. By helping to reintegrate these young people into mainstream education, training or employment, mentoring stands as an effective strategy to help young people realise their potential, keep off the streets and, in turn, stay out of prison.
Mentoring support is provided through weekly hour-long sessions. Through those sessions, young people can access relevant activities, support services and opportunities. Mentors work with their young person to identify goals and creating a tailored action plan to help them achieve those goals.
During this time, they will develop a professional relationship with the mentee so they can offer support and deter these young people from making the same mistakes that they, or those around them, made when they were their age.
Collectively our mentors have experienced: social exclusion, have been victims and perpetrators of crime, are ex-gang members, have lost close friends to violent crime, as well as many other life experiences. In addition, they have also undertaken qualifications in Youth Work and Mentoring and are fully trained regarding Safeguarding and supporting young people.
As a result our mentors play a valuable role as they have the knowledge to offer personal insights into the negative consequences of becoming involved in crime, as well as the ability to articulate this message in a way that their mentees will understand, listen to and engage with.