The Suffolk based Seckford Springboard initiative, which aims to help young people into further education, training and employment, is calling on local people across the county to volunteer as a mentor in their area. The mentoring scheme is open to anyone who has some time and expertise to share with people aged 25 and under who are struggling to find a job, looking for career advice or who are unsure of their next steps after leaving school.
Seckford Springboard is run by the Seckford Foundation and aims to help young people through the provision of an apprenticeship programme, grants and a mentoring scheme. Currently the mentoring scheme helps young people in the Suffolk Coastal area with study advice and discussing career or A-Level options. Mentors also provide advice and guidance to young people looking for work, such as helping them with interview practice and writing a CV.
Hana Dickinson is a Seckford Springboard mentor for students at Saxmundham Free School, and explains why she got involved with the scheme: “For me, mentoring is about spending time helping young people to identify their strengths outside of the classroom, as well as offering support and encouragement with their studies and next steps. The business world is so different from school or college, it’s important to give young people a glimpse of the bigger picture to help them to prepare for life after school. I hope more local people will step forward and offer their support and inspiration to our young stars of the future.”
Graham Watson, director of the Seckford Foundation, said: “Support from caring adults in the local community can make all the difference to young people when facing challenges. Being able to talk things through and listen to someone else’s experience, insight and expertise can really help young people to develop the confidence and independence they need to overcome any barriers they may face.
“If you have some spare time and expertise to share, we encourage you to sign-up as a volunteer mentor and help out a young person in your community.”
Seckford Springboard mentors can be of any age or working background, and don’t need mentoring experience as free training is provided. Mentors will be required to attend up to 12 half-hour face-to-face meetings with their allocated mentee and, as long as meetings are regular, these can be arranged around school holidays or existing work commitments.
To volunteer or find out more about becoming a mentor for the Seckford Springboard initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Seckford Foundation on 01394 615 173.
For more information about Seckford Springboard, including the apprenticeship programme and grants for young people, visit www.seckfordspringboard.org.uk.