In this blog, our CEO Julie Randles shares some of our plans for mentoring this year.

Vulnerable young people need to know that there’s someone out there for them. Someone who can listen to their challenges, work with them to overcome them, and invest in their futures.

As we announce some of our plans for 1:1 mentoring this year, we’re also reflecting on the impact Power2 Rediscover – our first 1:1 mentoring programme - has had on our work since its inception in the first COVID-19 lockdown.


Mentoring to reduce involvement in serious violence and crime

Mentoring has been shown to reduce violent crime and behavioural indicators of violent crime, including aggression and conduct problems (Gaffney et al. 2021. Youth Endowment Foundation).

We’re delighted to be delivering 1:1 mentoring as part of the Government-funded SAFE (Support, Attend, Fulfil, Exceed) initiative, targeting support in hotspot areas where incidents of serious youth violence are highest. In Southwark and Manchester, programmes to support vulnerable young people with their wellbeing, attendance and engagement with school and learning, leading to a reduction in involvement with serious violence and gangs. The programmes are delivered through 1:1 mentoring led by our Programme Leads.


Mentoring in Pupil Referral Units

Excluded students are four times more likely to be imprisoned as adults and, 85% of young offenders were excluded from school and most of them stopped going to school at the age of 14 or younger (Better Community Business Network, 2018).

We’re working in partnership with the London Borough of Southwark’s Violence Reduction Unit to support young people who are at risk of school exclusion. Our work includes supporting young people to move from one school to another, or those within or transferring to and from alternative provision.

Our Programme Lead told us about the progress one young person has made.

“The sessions are going well with Lena*. We have formed a trusting relationship and she feels comfortable working with me. In fact, I feel like I’m the only adult she will really engage with in school at the moment. She is very good at knowing what she needs support with, which has enabled me to find strategies to help.”

“We’ve been working to find ways to ensure her routines are helpful for her everyday life. One significant challenge she faced was that she would come to school late, which leads her to spend her school days in isolation and believe that the school staff don’t want her to do well. As we unpicked this challenge two weeks ago, we made a timetable to help Lena get ready in the morning and come to school on time.”

“It seems like a simple solution, but Lena hadn’t had anyone to speak to about the reasons why she’s late, or to help her with a plan to change that.”


Mentoring in primary schools

Children from the poorest 20% of households are four times more likely to have serious mental health difficulties by the age of 11 compared to those from the wealthiest 20% (Centre for Mental Health, 2020).

Early identification and action are the best things we can do to help give young people the best start in life. But we know that schools often don’t have the capacity to provide a structured intervention on their own to support all the children who need it.

We’re increasingly asked to provide Power2-led 1:1 support to children in primary schools. In response, we have developed an adaptation of our Power2 Rediscover programme for pupils in school years 3 to 6.

I’m delighted we’re able to open up this tailored support to younger children as the demand for our programmes increases.


Do you work in a school?

We'd love to hear from you if you're interested in receiving our mentoring support at your school. Get in touch by emailing [email protected].


* Lena’s name has been changed to protect her anonymity.