I am possible: Mentoring Programme
Mature Progress and Achieve
I am possible: One to one mentoring programme
Supporting the young people of today to becoming the adults of tomorrow
In the last fifty years adolescence has forced its way into the consciousness of western society, provoking anxiety, excitement and envy by turns in the older generation. While many of these reactions say more about the adults than the adolescents themselves, any serious student of adolescence can see that many of our young people are in deep trouble.
This is witnessed by the increase in male adolescent suicides or of young people becoming dependant on drugs and alcohol, or the record levels of delinquency and violence in which young people are both perpetrators and victims.
Identity is the fundamental key to a young person making the successful journey to becoming an adult. The Walk to Freedom Foundation's I Am Possible Mentoring Programme for young people aged between 11-21 years old sometimes older helps and empowers young people to resume the true journey of adolescences by encouraging and supporting them to become individuals therefore allowing them to develop their own identity.
The thought provoking carefrontational approach to one to one mentoring allows men- tees of the programme to begin to formulate in their minds that their lives can go in a positive direction.
By using an eclectic Psychodynamic approach these one to one or group sessions are based around indentifying the psychosocial issues that some of our young people are facing today who are or could have the potential of disengaging from the path of adolescence that should lead them successfully into adult hood.
Life Skills and motivational mentoring
This mentoring programme is for initially for 3 months but we have found that referring agencies like to continue the programme as they have found that the extra support has been even more beneficial to the mentee
These intervention sessions will empower young people toward discovering their identity which in turn will lead to their individuality therefore giving them a focus in life toward becoming upstanding members of the community and purpose driven adults that have a clear understanding of what they want out of life and the self awareness to stay the journey toward their goals.
Each session with the mentee will be tailored to the needs of the young person that will be assed via the in-depth referral from.
As part of the programme mentees will take part in developmental one to one workshops that will Carefront their perception of their environment and their adopted identity to enable. This in turn will enable the mentee to make more rational decisions over their lives to become successful.
The Tour Intervention
For more serious and vulnerable young people this programme has a powerful intervention named the “tour” where mentees who are entrenched in antisocial behaviour or criminal activities are taken to two separate locations during their time on the programme that relate to the possibilities of where they could end up if they continue to make the wrong choices, this being a prison and a cemetery.
On the last visit they are taken to a college as a representation of taking a new direction. This has proved to be a powerful intervention with previous mentees in that they get to grips with the reality of their lifestyle choices against the truth of what they really want out of life and it has seen them make those new choices too.
Back door approach to substance misuse
When addressing the issue of why young people become dependent on drugs and alcohol, at the Walk to Freedom we have found that the answers can be found today when we take what is called a contemporary psychodynamic approach meaning an approach to psychology that emphasises systematic study of the psychological forces that underlie human behaviour feelings, and emotions and how they might relate to early experience.
From the studies discussed in the well known book working with adolescents by Steven Briggs he quotes that “use of drugs is a complex subject. Social analysis asserts that pressure on adolescents to use drugs and alcohol alongside the development of a life style constitutes pressure on young people take part in consumption, to develop a lifestyle, and also that is it an aspect of resistance. For example;
In a moment where most young people can manage little else, the body provides one important site for management and also becomes the primary vehicle for the achievement of pleasure…. The use of drugs …. And the cultivation of a particular fashion for oneself, in this context all is seen as an attempt to stake out an independence from the parental and societal regulations of these bodies.
Therefore the use of drugs and alcohol for the adolescent today will now in part be wrapped in their adopted identity and also have other multiple meanings in adolescence.
- Some as follows
- It can indicate a group identity
- It can be a process of exploration in to finding oneself
- A problematic and pathological situation (a need to succeed) i.e. to use drugs to cram for exams thus leading to dependency
- Peer group influences
- Experimentation that can lead to dependency
- Rebellion against family values
- Self medication due to inner conflict
- Self medication due to family issue or abuse
- Rite of passage into adult hood
- Members of the family use and deem it as the norm
To summarise the journey towards drug misuse and dependency for young people is a very sensitive and tough issue to deal with especially with young people today who are more likely to use the more acceptable drugs like alcohol and cannabis and now with the New Psychoactive substances where the acute effects are more important than actually realising the side effects before it’s too late.
With the influences of the media, social and peer pressure some young people today are falling quicker into dependency than ever before the knock on effect is that the suicide rate and the depression rate for young people has risen exponentially over the last 20 years. Society has to stop attributing most of young people’s using to recreational using and see that many young people are in actual fact self medicating in their using.
The Walk to Freedom Foundation's mentoring programme takes a back door approach to addressing substance abuse with young people and have had remarkable results. When some young people have been referred to our service for substance misuse, because we know that their identity is wrapped in the misuse, we actually put them through the mentoring programme with some input and awareness on substance misuse introduced.
As the mentee grows through the programme “they” are the ones who actually find that their substance misuse is the thing that can hinder their future and is not part of their true identity, in turn they then start to address the issues as opposed to a service “telling them they have an issue”
The Core Mentoring Team
"A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. A mentor is someone who allows you to know that matter how dark the night, in the morning joy will come. A mentor is someone who allows you to see the higher part of yourself when sometimes it becomes hidden from your own view." Oprah Winfrey
Each of our mentoring core, team are from varied backgrounds ranging from young people age 21 and up, to more mature mentors who jointly make a team that can work across the board with young people with specific needs .
Each team member has been fully trained in mentoring and has been through enhanced DBS Checks to ensure they are cleared to work in this service. They also have or are working through their safe guarding training to ensure they are capable to handle more sensitive situations. Each of our mentors is highly qualified with outstanding educational backgrounds in child and social care development to support young people’s needs.
Our Successes so far in 2 years
A young mad referred for gang involvement and heavy cannabis use.
This young man come away from the gang he was involved in to attend college and now is actively participating on an apprentice scheme. And has stopped using cannabis
A young man referred for antisocial behaviour and groomed to deal drugs and non attendance as education provision and heavy cannabis.
This project supported toward attending a new fishing provision Angling For Success where he regularly attends and now has developed a new hobby in fishing where he no longer associates himself with his negative peers but has now become more family oriented it has been also reported that his cannabis use has greatly reduced to the point there are periods of abstinence
A young man referred for heavy cannabis use, antisocial behaviour, on the borders of exclusion from school and drug dealing
This programme supported this young man toward giving up his life of drug dealing, he has stopped using cannabis, and he remarkably achieved 7 GCSEs this year. As an advocate for change this young person now gives back by being asked by his school to give talks to encourage other young people to not make the mistakes he did.
A Young man referred to our services for gang related behaviour, antisocial behaviour, numerous reports of carrying an offensive weapon.
This young man was supported and mentored around his love of music and now is part of an up and coming rap group in Luton and so far the 16 Plus team in Luton have reported that he has not committed any criminal offences since leaving our programme
A group of five young men heard about our mentoring programme and jointly came for advice about their direction in life and the pressures of “street life” with a view to making music.
This group was supported by the mentoring programme to sign up for music and media course at Jamrock Media based in Luton and still seeks mentoring advice as a group from this programme.
This young man self referred due to family dysfunction and no direction in his life,
Since entering the programme he has gone to college for business studies, attended and completed the UP Rising young Peoples Programme, he has also now been approached by a modelling agency and intends to attend university to further his studies.
This young man was referred for heavy cannabis use, isolation, self harming, and street involvement. There have been no reports of self harming.
By being supported by our mentoring programme this young man no longer has anything to do with peers from the street as he has moved from the area to independent living. He actively seeks a reformed relationship with his estranged family and is currently working full time with his older brother.
This young man was referred to the service for street violence and antisocial behaviour.
Since entering the programme this young man has no longer committed any offences and has returned to college.
Following national standards
Even though this programme works with an “outside the box” approach to mentoring it does still work within the national guidelines of National Occupational Standards.
SCDHSC0312 Support children and young people to develop a positive identity and emotional wellbeing