Mentors are recruited from the Vision Housing client base and undergo a thorough recruitment process whereby they are interviewed for their suitability and commitment to the role. This process was refined from the initial process as there were several initial dropouts due to the recruitment process not being as robust. These mentors are then put forward for a training course (see point 2). Once mentors have completed the course, they are risk assessed for matching suitability to the potential mentees.
Mentors are also recruited from the training courses which all mentors attend. The mentor coordinator gives a presentation about Vision Housing and the benefits of volunteering for us. From there, mentors are interviewed and risk assessed.
2. Training (Whats involved)
Mentors are required to attend an assessment day to be enrolled onto the course as all the minimum entry requirement is Literacy Level 1. All those who pass the assessment day are enrolled onto the course which runs for 10 days over 4 weeks (3 days for the first 3 weeks; Monday – Wednesday, 10am-3pm; one day observation in the final week).
What do I get?
All Vision Housing mentors receive two qualifications in
NCFE Level 2 Mentoring and
NCFE Level 1 Substance Misuse Awareness.
Mentors also attend the Vision Housing in-house Skills for Life training program which runs monthly. These sessions cover practical topics including budgeting, opening up a bank account, work skills and CV writing.
This program was designed to cover issues that the mentors may need to support the mentees with throughout the mentoring relationship.
3. Mentoring relationships
Mentors meet with their clients once a week in a public area (usually a library). They discuss any issues in the client’s life and set targets to overcome these issues. Paperwork is filled out for each meeting and reviewed weekly. Mentors also attend monthly meetings with the team to review their progress and discuss any issues which may have arisen throughout their mentoring relationships.
4. Evaluation and Accreditation
The Vision Housing Mentoring Program is currently undergoing evaluation with the end goal of achieving accreditation. The evaluation is carried out by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. The process is meant to take a year to complete, but Vision Housing aims to complete the evaluation within 8 months. The process involves an assessor coming in to interview mentors, clients and the staff involved in the project. The evaluation focuses on the internal processes to ensure the program is adhering to good practice procedures.
5. Measuring impact
Vision Housing are measuring the impact of its program using extensive metrics. Different aspects which are covered in the program (such as confidence, tenancy sustainment and reoffending) are being measured at baseline, interval and end stages. This data will be used to measure the impact of the mentoring program through how much the client has improved as a result of the intervention. The data will also be used as a comparison with clients who did not undergo the mentoring intervention. This information will be distributed to current and potential funders and will be used in any promotional materials and publications.