What are Creative Mentors?
Young people have Creative Mentors for reasons such as exclusion from school, poor school attendance, because they are struggling with behaviour difficulties or perhaps where they are experiencing a significant life challenge (e.g. bereavement, mental health problems or moving foster home).
How does it work?
Creative Mentoring offers young people one-to-one support through a carefully designed programme. Creative Mentoring is both nurturing and education-focused, seeking opportunities to help unearth where the gems of talent lie.
This is achieved by the mentor and young person working together in a practical way. Using a wide range of activities such as e.g. ecology skills, digital media, outdoor pursuits, art, science, computing, craft making, sport, music etc.. Emphasis is placed on transferable skills such as communication, planning, reflection, organisation and team work, using creative tools such as film and photography to record and share the work.
The Creative Mentor supports the child for as long as schools, professional agencies and carers feel it is needed. There is a review of progress at each PEP meeting.
Evidence and Research
Compelling evidence is emerging that, over time, it has had a positive, trans-formative impact on young people’s confidence and willingness to engage in education.
Creative mentors focus on emotional readiness for learning; and approach activity in a way that is in line with international education development – where the emphasis is shifting to work readiness skills such as empathy, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, determination, calmness and respect. All are skills that employers are increasingly requesting.
Creative Mentors encourage other supporting adults to be inspirational for the children we care for. By helping to unearth talents and reveal their often hidden ambition, we have seen young people grow in confidence. Many becoming successful in school, gaining qualifications, making friends, gaining apprenticeships and going to university.