The MAD mentoring programme
Posted: Thu, 07 Feb 2019 10:09 by Emily Wade
One of the main goals for our project is to boost the aspirations of young people.
The MAD mentoring programme, which takes place in schools across Birmingham, was first set up in September 2017 when we realised there was a need to support the young people more widely than just during our evening weekly sessions.
Since the programme began, we have now engaged with 50+ students from secondary schools throughout the city and we are amazed by the change in mindset of these young people over the 6-week period of working with them.
Our mentoring programme offers the students a balance of indoor classroom and outdoor learning.
The important factor to this intervention is to provide a non-judgemental, confidential outlet / sounding board for the young people; gaining trust through a neutral, safe and trustworthy role models.
The sessions focus on teamwork, leadership, resilience and responsibility. The MAD team deliver these key themes through their own mini workshops, presentations, group discussions, classroom games and outdoor sporting activities.
After a term ends, we will then follow up with a consultation and touch-points to review and reflect on the progress of the young people in the schools.
The programme is tailored to the schools needs and timetable. We are a fully flexible team and will try our best to cater for the school.
Here's what a few of the young people had to say about our mentoring programme by exploring a few different themes.
1) How it has changed the young person's outlook on life…
"During the M.A.D program, which is a program designed to help you think better, I have found my sessions very well used as they have showed me much more in life and that how certain things can make you feel down if you don't use them right!... Thank you for letting me join!"
"You learn about why you need school… also they give you good tips like listening, respect, box clever. Also you can have fun with everyone in the group and the people that do it"
2) Developing their understanding on Mental Health…
"Mentoring is good because it helps me with stuff like understanding mental health and depression. Another reason it is good is their advice on how to avoid getting in trouble and I've used it quite a lot at home and at school. Overall I would recommend it to anyone and it is a good experience"
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my times with the mentor group as it has helped me to understand other people's views and to respect them, I have found that I can relate to most of what is said by the group and it gives me an opportunity to express views and share past experiences so that the rest of the group could possibly learn something new as I have when I have listened to other peoples stories"
"Sometimes we also do sports which I like so that we are not just inside…We speak about mental health and social media, sometimes the mentors tell us stories about them or what they have done or been through"
We also have a quote from a young person about our MAD staff…
The mentors use slang language that I understand and they know the streets better than us because they have lived through our generation. Talking to them is like talking to a friend!"
And finally, a quote from the Teacher at the school…
"Students who took part in the MAD programme really enjoyed the range of activities and the balance between learning in the classroom and outside. The team offer a non-judgmental and genuine programme which supports change and offers a safe space to try out new skills. The experience of team has enabled our young people to benefit from an opportunity outside the normal school day to participate in a highly successful 6 week programme focusing on teamwork, leadership, resilience and responsibility"
If you work for a school and feel like your students would benefit from the mentoring programme, please get in touch with the MAD team on email
Make.A.Difference (MAD Birmingham)