Launching the Cambridgeshire Care Leavers Mentoring Programme: A Beacon of Hope
In July 2023, Cambridgeshire County Council took a significant step towards brighter futures as they launched the inaugural Goal 17 cohort of mentors for the Cambridgeshire Care Leavers Mentoring Programme. The response was nothing short of heartwarming, with over 75 applications flooding in from enthusiastic volunteer mentors within the first week of announcing the program.
From this eager pool of volunteers, the first 20 mentors were selected, and they all gathered at the Mills & Reeves offices in central Cambridge for the program's official launch. Prior to this exciting day, each mentor had completed Goal 17's comprehensive online training, equipping them with the foundational knowledge of mentoring. As a bonus, they will qualify for a University certificate in mentoring, underlining the program's commitment to excellence and professionalism.
The launch day was filled with anticipation and camaraderie as mentors were prepared for the incredible journey ahead. Councillor Liz Every, beaming with enthusiasm, shared her excitement, saying, "I really can't wait to put into action all the information we have received and meet my mentee for the first time." Her sentiment was echoed by mentors from various backgrounds, ages, and experiences, including Joe Dix, a technology specialist, who expressed his awe at the diversity within the group. He confessed to feeling a touch of nervousness but also immense support and overwhelming excitement.
These dedicated mentors hail from all corners of the county, many of them professionals from local businesses. Their collective passion and commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of care leavers in Cambridgeshire shine through. Their journey together has begun, and as they build bonds within their cohort, they are primed to offer invaluable support and guidance to young care leavers in need.
Over the coming months, these mentors will be matched with young care leavers, embarking on a transformative journey together. For care leavers, the transition into independence after leaving the care system at the age of 18 can feel like navigating a daunting "cliff edge." The support of a volunteer mentor is a lifeline that can significantly improve their sense of security and confidence as they navigate this challenging period.
The Cambridgeshire Care Leavers Mentoring Programme is not just a program; it's a lifeline, a beacon of hope, and a testament to the power of community and compassion. As these mentors and mentees begin their shared journey, the ripple effect of their partnership will undoubtedly touch the lives of many, lighting the way for a brighter, more hopeful future.
Watch this short video above to hear directly from our mentors and learn more about their inspiring journey:
Stay tuned for updates as Cambridgeshire's mentoring program continues to make a difference in the lives of care leavers and strengthens the bonds within the community.