Thrive Peer Mentoring Programme (2016-2021)
Although the Wiltshire Peer Mentoring training sessions for primary and secondary schools ended during summer 2021, schools can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Peer Mentoring programmes are based on young people supporting each other; matching peer mentors with mentees in one-on-one relationships so they can provide guidance and support, serving as positive role models. With appropriate training, guidance and supervision peer mentors are able to listen and support fellow pupils (mentees); helping them deal with the challenges they face that they may be struggling with.
As part of the additional support available to Wiltshire Thrive Hub schools Kidscape worked with 10 Wiltshire secondary schools, to develop and support a peer mentoring programme between 2016 and 2018.
Kidscape provided training, resources and support for school staff, which enabled them to train and support pupils in their schools to become peer mentors.
The programme aims to enhance early intervention and prevention of low level mental health and wellbeing issues amongst their pupils.
Older pupils were matched with younger pupils in one-on-one relationships to provide guidance and serve as positive role models.
The role of peer mentors is to listen to and support fellow pupils with their emotional health and wellbeing issues including: problems with schoolwork, social issues, peer pressures (e.g. to drink or smoke), family problems, bullying and other difficulties associated with growing up.
Wiltshire have also worked with Kidscape to deliver the RISE Programme in Wiltshire, supporting transition from 2020.
The impact for young people
All schools were encouraged to provide evidence to demonstrate that their peer mentoring programmes were making a difference to their mentors and mentees. Kidscape developed exit surveys for both mentees and mentors to complete which would assist the schools in providing the evidence needed to demonstrate this impact.
School reports showed that peer mentors enjoyed their role and some included their involvement as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award and UCAS applications.
Exit surveys from mentees were overwhelmingly positive with most indicating that they would use the scheme again in the future should the need arise.
Outcomes were noted relating to issues relevant to the mentees, which included improvements in attendance, attainment, wellbeing, behaviour, self esteem and confidence.
Sources of evidence were also provided from conversations with tutors, information from Pastoral Leaders, Heads of House and emails from parents.
Mentee-‘I have so many problems. I love my mentoring sessions and my mentor really helps me.’
Peer Mentor -‘I thoroughly enjoy being a peer mentor. I am proud to have had the opportunity’.
Feedback from schools
School staff fed back that they were very happy with the training they had received and the resources they had been given to support their delivery.
‘Our school has run a similar programme for 9 years but Kidscape gave us an injection of new ideas and safer practice which has made the mentoring more effective and improved our monitoring systems. The best recommendation for the scheme comes from the comments made by the mentees and mentors themselves.’
"I think the support and training has been outstanding. At first it seemed like a daunting task but Kidscape have been very responsive to our needs e.g. setting up shared portal for resources, extra one off training programmes to support peer mentors in their role. Our peer mentors greatly enjoyed meeting Sarah Lewis from Kidscape and sharing what they had done with her."
‘A huge weight off staff (particularly pastoral staff) to support students with ‘lower level’ concerns, who now have the focus, time and creative input of their mentor’.
"I cannot rate the programme highly enough. Support, training, information and resources have been fantastic, and we have seen rewards in many areas almost immediately. I think ideally, all schools would use this model. I only wish we had discovered Kidscape’s mentoring programme earlier!"