Spotlight on Project Scotland
Spotlight on Project Scotland
What target groups do you help?
We have two projects in Dundee:
1.We support young people who experience barriers in their life- by offering a wrap around support which includes a volunteering placement, a dedicated staff member and a mentor. We support the young person to enhance their skills, confidence, social connections and work toward their goals.
2.We also support local parents in family types identified at higher risk of low-income and are either unemployed or underemployed, with the aim of helping them to progress and raise their family income. We match parents to a volunteer mentor and work in partnership with other organisations to ensure they have person-centred support in place. The project is flexible around mentor/mentee availability and mentors receive training and support from the mentor manager.
And how do the volunteers help?
Our volunteer mentors are at the heart of the support we offer to individuals throughout Dundee. Once matched to a mentee, they meet with them on a regular basis to establish a relationship. Depending upon the needs, situation and goals of that individual, each mentoring relationship will differ considerably. A mentor’s role is to listen, motivate, inspire, act as a sounding board and encourage. At times, it may be helpful for the mentor to share their own life experience with their mentee and offer feedback/advice and reflection throughout their journey together.
The mentees will have a range of motivations for seeking a mentor. They may experience challenges in their lives and would benefit from a role model and someone to talk with. They may lack confidence and self-belief which is preventing them from progressing. They may be unable to access/or unaware of opportunities due to protected characteristics. They may be unsure of their goals and how to achieve them.
What volunteer roles do you have, and do you have any areas you wish to get more volunteer involvement?
1. Volunteer Mentor role- matched to one young person who experiences barriers to moving on in life and achieving their goals
2. Volunteer Mentor role- matched to a local parent who would benefit from support to enhance their employability prospects and overall wellbeing.
We would love to take on new mentors for both our Dundee projects.
What skills & experience are required to volunteer with you?
Being a mentor requires no specific qualifications or experience: only the desire to connect with someone else; support them to enhance their own skills and experience; help to identify current strengths and aspirations.
What training can the volunteer expect?
All volunteer mentors attend one or two training sessions virtual or face to face where they get the opportunity to: connect with other mentors; learn more about our organisation and the work we do nationally; explore what mentoring involves and what type of mentor they aspire to be; we also discuss case studies; mentoring tools; safeguarding and boundaries. Throughout their volunteering journey we also provide access to a mentor toolkit, webinars and resources to support their learning and development.
Volunteers statement or story – V.L
How did you find the mentor application and training process?
The application process is straight forward and the training is really helpful. It is great to meet other mentors and hear their views on the mentoring relationship. It all feels very supportive.
How do you feel about your match with your mentee?
I think our match is perfect. We have built up a great relationship and I look forward to hearing my mentee’s news and planning next steps.
What have you enjoyed about your mentoring journey so far?
I love to see my mentee develop, build confidence and take steps that may have seemed daunting initially. It is not just a one way process, I am learning about myself and it is so rewarding to see my mentee making positive progress.
Would you recommend mentoring to other potential volunteers?
I would have no hesitation in recommending mentoring. It is extremely rewarding and it provides you with skills that you can transfer to other aspects of your life. It is a two way process and you can learn so much about yourself and about barriers that you may not have even considered through interaction with your mentee.
Have you found PES mentoring to be personally rewarding? (If yes, how?)
Yes, absolutely, mentoring is extremely rewarding personally. It is great to see my mentee develop, build confidence and push beyond the comfort zone to achieve things that may have seemed impossible before the relationship began. You feel that you are contributing to positive steps in someone’s life.
A story or statement told by someone who benefits from your organisation and the involvement of Volunteers – B.B.
I am enjoying it so much! We have a great connection and I find her mentoring really helpful and it’s building my confidence as well.