1 December 2015

Thirty three young people aged 16-25 who are not in Employment, Education or Training in Brighton and Mid Sussex have received one to one mentor support from volunteers from within our local communities, through the Positive Placements project.

Since the beginning of March, 44 volunteers have been recruited and trained through YMCA DLG to support them to become mentors.

The Positive Placements project has worked alongside community groups, businesses and organisations in Brighton and Mid Sussex to offer work experience, apprenticeships, activities and volunteering opportunities for young people who need support to overcome the barriers that they face in using their time meaningfully.

Mentors meet their mentees on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, building professional and supportive relationships.

Working alongside housing keyworkers, band 2 housing teams and other professionals in each area, Positive Placements mentors support and enable young people to overcome any issues that they are facing, such as anxiety, low confidence, lack of experience or skills, lack of qualifications and issues with mental health.

A YMCA DLG resident and Positive Placements mentee said, “My mentor has been absolutely superb. We first assessed what my end goals were in terms of further education and have now moved on to the subject of how to get there. As I have a long term illness that affects my mobility, it has been valuable to have someone to talk to about it not controlling my life and being able to do what I want, which is to get into education. I have found this service extremely helpful in moving on and would recommend it to anyone”.

The mentoring programme has been successfully worked alongside existing teams to provide an extra layer of support for some of our most vulnerable young people.

The outcomes so far include:  young people attending full- time college courses; volunteering in charity shops and music venues; volunteering with animals; working at festivals over the summer and pop- up shops and seasonal events in Brighton; one mentee registering as self-employed and receiving guidance on completing tax returns; one mentee becoming a degree student of the Open University; two mentees gaining full time employment in their area of interest and young people finding part-time employment.

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