Building on the nurturing and accepting relationship between a young person and a grandparent, Volunteering Matters recruits, trains and supports volunteer mentors who are aged 50 plus, and otherwise known as ‘Grandmentors’, to use their skills and experience to provide bespoke mentoring for young people leaving care.
Young people leaving care face significant challenges during their transition into adulthood and independence, when they are at the time when they would plan and prepare for the future.
Young people with a history of local authority care have vastly poorer social outcomes in adulthood, when compared with peers who have not been in local authority care. Figures also show that individuals with a history of being in care are represented disproportionately in the homeless population, the teenage parent population, and in the criminal justice system.
Set up in 2009 and working with Islington Council, the Grandmentor scheme is most valuable in that the care leavers know and appreciate that these mentors are volunteers, not part of the care system and are giving their time for free.
Grandmentors act as role models, and can help the young people with anything from opening a bank account or writing a CV to applying for a job.
Results show that after six months, 95 per cent of care leavers supported by Grandmentors were in education, employment or training, compared to the national rate of 49 per cent.
Also beneficial to the Grandmentors themselves, a survey of 43 mentors in early 2015 showed that73 per cent felt mentoring had given them a great sense of purpose, while 91 per cent felt more involved in the community.
CC reg no: 291222