On Monday 8th August Routes2Success held their first learning session of 2022 in attendance with the R2S Team and ten of their dedicated role models and mentors.
The learning session was an opportunity for the team to share best practice and review the content of workshops prior to the new academic school year. It made space to evaluate and discuss the feedback received from young people from previous steering group meetings, making sure that their voices remain embedded in the programme’s aims and vision, and to ensure it continues to meet their needs.
The learning session kicked-off well with an icebreaker activity which asked volunteers to rank the qualities of a mentor in order of importance, and to consider how the young people in the R2S steering group might have ranked them.
After volunteers shared their thoughts, the R2S team revealed the top qualities of a mentor from the perspective of the young people which were:
- Providing support and advice
- Being able to listen and accept different points of view
- Being honest
- Helping with their mentee’s personal development
In groups, role models then reflected on the workshops they have delivered and shared what they think the successes and challenges have been.
Challenges & Successes
In terms of challenges, the role models identified that at times it was difficult to manage a group if they were of mixed ability, showed a lack of engagement, or had behavioural issues. They thought it was important for the schools to provide specific information on each student in advance, in order to maximise the effectiveness of workshops.
As for successes, role models mentioned the friendly competition between the boys in sessions, interactive tasks that were able to engage the more challenging students and exercises that allowed the young people to explore their aspirations such as the vision boards. Role models enjoyed sharing their personal and career journeys.
Time was dedicated to reviewing the feedback from the young people at the steering group meetings to gain an insight into the current issues affecting young people and what further support R2S could provide. It was interesting the see how the issues raised by young people varied from borough to borough and included issues such as:
- knife crime and gang culture
- discrimination and racism in school
- self-image and colourism
- culture and heritage
The last part of the Learning Session was used to review and refine R2S workshops to ensure session objectives are clearer and topics more relevant for our target group of young people. The workshops focus on areas of employment, education, entrepreneurship, and personal development.
Following the success of the Learning Session, the R2S Team are excited update the programme’s content and workshop offer in time for the new academic year.
The team would like to take this opportunity to thank attendees for their time, input, and continued support.
Are you interested in volunteering with R2S
as a Role Model & Mentor?
If you’re from a Black or ethnic minority background, successful in your chosen career and you’re passionate about inspiring young people to make positive choices about their futures, then please join us.
Apply today or get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.