Cash for Mentoring Plus to keep pupils in and around Bath on track
A new project is being launched to give extra support to children at risk of being expelled from school.
A lottery grant of nearly £10,000 will allow the charity Mentoring Plus to increase the number of youngsters it helps by nearly two-thirds.
The project will be open to all schools across Bath and north east Somerset which have young people at risk of exclusion because of disruptive behaviour.
The Exclusion from School scheme, which will work in partnership with Black Families Education Support Group and other agencies, will match each vulnerable child with a trained volunteer adult mentor. They will usually meet once a week to share a coffee, play football or attend an evening activity run by Mentoring Plus.
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Bath-based Mentoring Plus director Mike Tichelar said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to expand our mentoring. We know from our work in schools that disruptive behaviour is on the rise. We also know that there is usually a reason for that behaviour.
"We want to engage with these kids as early as possible. Mentoring is shown to help vulnerable young people make the most of their education and then go on to further education, training or employment."
Support group development manager Jason Pegg added: "We believe that our involvement in the partnership has the potential to demonstrate that mentoring programmes which take account of race and racism, and cultural and ethnic background, through using black and minority ethnic role models are an effective way of supporting young people in school to enjoy their education and achieve their potential."
The new scheme will allow Mentoring Plus to increase the number of young people to benefit from mentoring from 31 to 51. The charity recently changed its remit from working exclusively with young people at risk of offending to helping youngsters with a much broader range of needs.
Money for the project, for children aged between ten and 17, has come from Awards For All.
Mentoring Plus is recruiting mentors, who need to be patient, interested in young people and able to spare one evening a week for 12 months. For more information contact Mentoring Plus on 01225 429694, or go to www.mentor ingplus.net.