Grandmentors is an innovative project using the power of inter-generational mentoring to support care leavers who may be in challenging life circumstances. These mentors are volunteers aged 50 and over who use their wisdom, their energy and their life experience to help keep young people leaving care on track.
Some young people, for whatever reason, may not achieve academic results to continue into higher education, or were lacking interview skills and are unemployed, or maybe they have a skill they haven’t been able to develop through training and guidance. Volunteering Matters, who run the project, believe all young people are capable of being in higher education, employment or training if they wish to be but also know that some young people need a helping hand to achieve this.
The role of a Grandmentor consists of an older volunteer regularly meeting a young person aged 16-24 for one to two hours per week. Slowly and surely, the Grandmentors build up a relationship of trust and mutual respect. Grandmentors often become a positive role model for the young person, boosting the young person’s confidence and supporting them to develop their skill set. The programme has been running in Islington since 2009, and in 2016 a request was made to the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust for funding towards the first year of running the project in Folkestone.