Services for Young People Hertfordshire Services for Young People

Practical Partners volunteer role

What's involved in becoming a Practical Partners volunteer mentor?

Would you like to improve the outcomes for young people in care and care leavers aged 16 to 25, helping them with the challenges they may face as they start to live independently?

Joining the Practical Partners project is an opportunity for you to make real difference in a young person's life. You'll also learn new skills, connect with like-minded people, and boost your CV and career.

We will provide training that will build on your skills and knowledge so you can provide a new and bespoke form of support for care leavers. 

Each young person will have their own volunteer mentor who will support them and champion their cause, helping them recognise their strengths and realise their full potential.

What support will you be providing?

Volunteer mentors will provide informal practical support with a range of common issues and challenges, such as:

  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Managing money and bills
  • DIY and home management
  • Coping with the challenges of being a parent
  • Accessing education, training and employment

You'll provide the support via a combination of messaging, calling, or meeting up at an SfYP young people's centre.

You will support your mentee in a range of ways which may include:

  • Encouraging them to become more independent
  • Raising their aspirations for the future
  • Having a cuppa and a chat so they can talk through things that may be worrying them
  • Supporting them to understand and complete forms or applications
  • Helping them to plan and do everyday tasks such as shopping, paying bills and budgeting, tidying and cleaning, and preparing healthy meals
  • Giving them practical support such as helping them move house or do some basic DIY
  • Enabling them to grow their confidence, so that they can find and build healthy relationships
  • Signposting them to trusted information sources and local and national support organisations
  • Supporting them to attend meetings and appointments

For young parents and parents-to-be:

  • Helping them with their birth plan and preparing to be a parent
  • Plan and carry out fun activities with their children

You will be matched with your mentee based common interests and likes, skills, needs, geography and availability. A tailored support agreement will be drawn up so everybody is clear on what has been agreed. This will be periodically reviewed to make sure everybody is happy.

What are we looking for?

This is not a professional or paid role and no specific experience or skills are required to become a volunteer mentor, just the ability to be there for the young person. If you are a good listener, are friendly and want to make a difference to someone’s life, this is the perfect role for you!

We are looking for people who can:

  • Offer a regular commitment
  • Be flexible and reliable
  • Promote inclusion and not judge
  • Be supportive and confident
  • Be calm and a good listener
  • Understand the need for privacy and confidentiality
  • Drive or have access to transport
  • Know when your mentee may need more help than you can provide
  • Understand and abide by the Hertfordshire County Council policies and procedures in relation to safeguarding, confidentiality and equal opportunities.

How much time do you need to give?

How much time you spend volunteering will depend on your availability and the needs of the young person you are matched with. So that you can build a good working relationship with the young person you are working with, we ask that you commit to two years in the role.

What sort of training and support will you receive?

  • High quality training, including an induction program, that covers topics such as safeguarding, mental health and listening skills
  • Additional support to give you confidence in your role
  • Regular check-ins, including one-to-one meetings, group and telephone support so that you feel that there is someone there for you too
  • Regular opportunities to be a part of a team where you can develop and share your knowledge and skills

You will be reimbursed for any travel expenses and reasonable expenses for light refreshments whilst meeting your mentee.

If you are aged 18 or over and would like to express your interest in training to become a volunteer mentor, please email the Practical Partners Team or complete the form below and we'll get back to you.

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