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About the project:
The TE Mentoring Project is a project managed by the Eccles Looked After Children Education Team.
The project provides young people who have been in care with mentors drawn from people who have themselves been in care and subsequently achieved places at university or other place of further education.
The project focuses the mentor and mentee strongly on the relationship and emphasis is placed on developing the child’s competencies and capacity to find their own solutions. Goals are set and progress discussed at each meeting with strong systems in place to monitor and show the progress made. This means the project can demonstrate that the young person is working effectively within the programme and that the mentor and mentee are participating on an agreed journey. One of the defining aspects of the mentoring project was that from its beginnings young people who had been in care were engaged in its planning, delivery and assessment.
In March 2009, TE Mentoring received a Big Lottery funding grant of approximately £175,000 over five years. The organisation has specified a number of outcomes for the project, including the number of people who will benefit from its work.

Project aims:

  • To raise the aspirations of young people in care

  • To raise the educational achievements of young people in care

Project outcomes
Impact on mentees/befriendees:

  • X numbers of children in care have received mentoring from peers since the project was established in 20XX.

  • X have since left care. X went on to further education and X went into employment or apprenticeships. This represents X% of the children mentored and is significantly greater than the X% of children in care who went on to further education or into employment or apprenticeships in the year prior to the programme’s introduction.

  • X% of mentees reported that they had benefited from the relationship in terms of self confidence, self esteem, knowledge, independence and motivation to succeed.

  • None of the mentees have entered the criminal justice system or required support with substance addiction; this compares favourably with outcomes for children in care in the three years prior, where an average of X% have committed offences or been admitted into substance abuse programmes.

Impact on mentors/befrienders:

  • X% of mentors said that they had found the experience of mentoring beneficial in terms of their own skills and experience.

  • 100% of mentors said that the fact that they had been mentors had been considered by potential employers as positive on their CVs.

  • X% of mentors said that they would very likely, or likely, to continue to provide mentoring to vulnerable people in the future.

Cost benefit/return on investment:
The positive impact on the confidence of the young people concerned is of huge but inestimable value. However, based on national statistics for young people leaving care and the experiences of young people in care in Eccles prior to the project’s introduction we estimate that tangible benefits include:

  • A probable reduction in the number of young people who would have registered as unemployed of X , with a related estimated cost saving in benefits of £X per annum.

  • None of the X number of young people mentored made court appearances in the year after leaving care, compared with a national average of one in three. Had our young people conformed to national averages there would have been an estimated cost of £X in the first year, with further costs relating to potential re-offending.

  • X of care leavers require further support from addiction services, at an average cost of £xx per person per year. If young people on the project had conformed to average statistics there would have been a cost of £X, based on X being likely to require this form of support.

  • The mentoring project costs £X per annum, suggesting a return on investment of X% in the first year of leaving care and, with the average care leaver taking X months to find a first job, subsequent savings of up to £xxxx per annum.

Personal impact statements
Prior to mentoring, Sarah didn’t really know what the future held; she was unsure and unaware of what to do before the process began. Since being involved with the project Sarah knows where she wants to go and the project has provided her with help in education and personal issues.
Sarah says: “Without the direction and support that I have received from my mentor I feel as though I would be no closer to my future goals in the way that I am now, I would be more likely just be hanging with my mates. Having the sessions consistently keeps me on track providing a kind of touch base to which I can go and seek advice if I have a problem or just generally go and socialise with positive company. In essence, once I felt comfortable within my private life, I felt able to pursue my education.”
Tanya, a care leaver, believes that she has benefited from the relationship. Tanya believes that she acts as a positive role model providing physical evidence that mentees can achieve whatever they wish regardless of being in care.
Tanya says: “Sarah has learnt various skills including confidence, self-esteem, knowledge, independence and, most importantly, self motivation to succeed in anything she may desire.”

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