The Thrive Mentoring Programme:
Long-term, consistant support for 8 - 18 year olds
Coming soon - project in development...
Consistent, longer term relationship with a safe, responsive adult.
Engages young people with a broad range of activities with intrinsic therapeutic benefits.
Seeks to rebuild self-belief, social problem solving and core concepts of childhood - including growth, adventure and imagination.
Our Thrive mentoring programme matches marginalised children to safe, caring and responsive adults who commit to seeing the child regularly, and being a consistent presence in their life. These volunteers are able to be alongside children as they journey through difficult life situations and become a key part of the child’s support network, offering positive affirmation, showing care and taking an interest in the child’s life.
Mentors undergo a rigorous interview and training process, to ensure that they are safe, capable and the right fit to support a vulnerable child. Each volunteer must be able to commit to continue long term work with the child in a consistent, reliable way over weekly or fortnightly sessions for at least 6 months (but more typically for a year). Activities will tend to vary each session – sometimes involving just a trip to a café for a chat over hot chocolate, at other times, maybe planning to visit a museum, place of interest or park. A key aspect is that plans are made collaboratively, with volunteers and children thinking jointly about how to spend their time together. Behind the scenes, case supervision for mentors, safeguarding support and check ins with both volunteers and children, are provided by Free To Be’s core team.
The consistent and longer term nature of these interventions is designed to support children to begin to rebuild often damaged senses of trust and attachment.
Mentors cannot prevent children facing challenges in their lives but are there to ensure that children do not go through these experiences alone. They provide a listening ear, re-affirm the child's intrinsic value and worth and help children access fun, rewarding and exciting activities which both inject joy and adventure into childhoods, whilst helping children rebuild self-esteem and develop the resilience to thrive.