This is from Mentoring Plus: Youth charity celebrates 25 years of impact with a call for community support.
Bath-based youth charity Mentoring Plus marked its 25th anniversary on June 27th with a rallying call for
more adult volunteer mentors and community fundraising.
The charity, which supports around 180 children and young people every week with mentoring, activities
and youth clubs, welcomed over 80 supporters, partners, volunteers and young people to its Riverside
Youth Hub HQ for the special celebration.
The event included the premiere of a short film, Shoulder to Shoulder, made by young people in
collaboration with the egg, Theatre Royal Bath, including music recorded by young people with support
from Bath Festival.
Mentees talked about how it feels to have a trusted adult stand shoulder to shoulder with them and
collaborated on creative stop-motion animations to express the impact of mentoring.
“When I’m shoulder to shoulder with my mentor I feel happy and relieved of stress,” says one young
mentee in the film. “It’s just like she’s my best friend.” Another mentee adds: “I feel like I have someone I
can trust who can help me achieve my goals.”
CEO Ruth Keily and Head of Practice Helen Goodchild reflected on the incredible work of staff and
volunteers over 25 years, supporting children struggling in education, facing tough family circumstances
and coping with poor mental wellbeing.
“We celebrate this incredible community and all it has done over 25 years to support young people to
thrive,” Ruth Keily said to the assembled crowd, “but be under no illusion, the need is sky-high and
young people are facing challenges now that didn’t even exist 25 years ago. Young people are brilliant,
resourceful and inspiring, but they need more help than ever to overcome difficulties they now face.”
Like many charities, Mentoring Plus https://mentoringplus.netis finding it harder to recruit volunteers than before the pandemic.
Helen Goodchild emphasized the need: “We have children and young people waiting to be matched with
mentors right now. You don’t need any prior experience, we train and support you and pay full expenses.
You can make a huge difference to a child in need of support a couple of hours a week, getting out and
about, doing things you both enjoy like sport, cooking, music or dog walking.”
Mentoring Plus relies on charitable funding for about a third of its income, and is appealing for more
individuals, groups and businesses to get behind local young people. “Young people feel more valued
when they know their community is directly supporting them,” said Ruth Keily.
“We thank our brilliant regular donors, our businesses like Novia who have chosen us as their charity of
the year, and churches like Christ Church in Julian Road who‘ve done a whole series of Time and Talent
events sharing their knowledge as a fundraiser. We hope other groups and organisations are inspired to
do something similar – helping us be there for the next generation of children feeling anxious,
marginalised and alone.”
Adults wanting to find out about volunteering and fundraising can visit https://mentoringplus.net or call Mentoring Plus on 01225 429694
Photo credit: Anna Barclay.