Kidscape (from 2016)
Thrive Peer Mentoring Programme
As part of the additional support available to Wiltshire Thrive Hub schools Kidscape worked with 10 Wiltshire secondary schools, supporting them to establish a peer mentoring programme.
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 aimed 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.
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."
"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."
"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!"
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.
For the schools to carry on delivering their programme it is crucial that school staff have time and support that they need for delivery.
Schools involved in the programme are planning to extend the work, beyond the funded period of the programme. Network support meetings are planned to enable schools to support each other and help the programme to continue. We will be discussing ways in which other Wiltshire schools can access support and link with Kidscape.