Bath Voice News: 25 years up for Mentoring Plus in Bath as they appeal for mentors to help struggling young people

By Becki Fox: Bath-based charity Mentoring Plus is marking its 25th anniversary in 2023 with an appeal to the community to connect with children and young people needing extra support. MP Wera Hobhouse had discussions with members of staff and three of the charity’s Youth Reps, previous mentees who have chosen to stay involved.

The Bath MP heard how individuals who are disengaged from education, anxious, isolated, or at risk of harm can
benefit from mentoring. Like many local charities, Mentoring Plus has seen charitable donations from individuals,
businesses and organised events reduce since the disruption of Covid. Numbers of volunteers coming forward to train as mentors have also shrunk – both just at the time when the numbers of children and young people needing support have shot up.
Charity CEO Ruth Keily said: “25 years ago in 1998, the founders of Mentoring Plus saw how young people struggling in school, with family difficulties or with mental wellbeing needed timely help to stay safe and fulfil their potential. We’ve been training and supporting adult volunteer mentors to get alongside young people ever since. But it’s more difficult now than ever.”
“We rely on our community for charitable fundraising to help us support young people. We understand – organised events are only just getting back to normal, people aren’t together in the workplace in the same way as before, and we’ve all been affected by the rising cost of living. Meanwhile the flow of new volunteers has been affected by people changing jobs, making up for missed holidays and time with family. But our young people
really need time with mentors too.”
Adult volunteer mentors are background checked and carefully trained by the charity, which also provides support directly to young people, families and schools to ensure difficulties are identified and addressed. Volunteers are all ages (usually over 21), come from all walks of life and need no previous experience, just kindness, reliability and a commitment to meet up with their mentee weekly for a year. The charity pays the travel costs and expenses of mentors and mentees getting out and connecting with opportunities in the community,
aiming to match pairs with similar interests from sport and music to crafting, cookery and dog
Find out more about supporting Mentoring Plus at

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