What we’re doing: SW!TCH

Our Youth and Outreach Development Workers have proved very agile in adapting their interactions with the most vulnerable students to suit the current crisis! One-to-one mentoring has gone online and we’ve worked closely with schools to ensure safeguarding of students.

The students we work with are those who are on the edge of school exclusion, involvement with serious youth violence, or those who have poor mental health. While students are sometimes struggling to engage, one very positive outcome from the current situation has been forming connections with the whole family.

Mentors have been able to talk with parents, which under normal in-school mentoring conditions wouldn’t have happened. This means that mentors are getting a feel for family life and working with parents, as well as teachers for the benefit of the students. Many parents have reported a significant improvement in the behaviour of their children since mentoring began.

Our team are utilising their full-range of skills. One is a fully qualified personal trainer and so is providing online exercise classes. Others are providing online tutorials and social spaces for students to interact in a positive environment.

Extra capacity has been utilised in the BD CAN scheme; our mentors can be seen shopping for vulnerable residents in the local supermarkets.

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