Who will the mentor be?

The mentor is an adult who is matched with you based on shared interests. The mentor invests their time voluntarily, often because they feel that they have something to offer or give back to their community.

The mentor will undertake training and relevant safeguarding checks before becoming a mentor on the Y’s Girls project. They are supported by the Y’s Girls Project Coordinator, who will feedback to them about progress. It’s essential that we continually improve our service, and so we will regularly ask you for your feedback and ideas so that we can be our best.

What will the mentor do?

The mentor will meet you initially at home or somewhere familiar, and the Y’s Girls Project Coordinator will introduce you. The mentor will meet you every week for around 1.5-2 hours to get to know you and share their interests.

The mentor will help you access activities you enjoy and try new things out. Throughout the mentoring relationship, they will listen and provide a non-judgemental space to seek advice and support and work with you to help you set and achieve goals (both big and small).

Where do I meet the mentor?

The mentor will meet with you in public places and use local facilities for activities. Whilst you and the mentor will get to know each other well, it is essential for the mentor to remain a mentor helping you achieve goals rather than a friend.

How long is the programme?

While you will tend to meet with the mentor weekly, the mentoring itself will be centred around your goals so that the contact can change over time. The programme lasts for around a year as it takes time to build relationships, talk openly, and share interests.

Do I have to meet with the mentor?

Meeting with the mentor is optional and voluntary. You can opt-out at any time. The mentor’s time is valuable, however, so if you cannot make a meeting, it is good to let the mentor and/or the Project Coordinator know in advance.

What if we don’t get on?

The Project Coordinator will always try their best to match young people and mentors so that you both have a positive and fulfilling experience. If you don’t find you connect or share basic interests with your mentor, you can contact the Project Coordinator to discuss this at any time in confidence.

What information do you share with others?

The mentor fills out an anonymised sheet to feedback to the Project Coordinator about progress towards your goals, held on a secure system. From time to time, the Project Coordinator may think it appropriate to share information with others. This can help to unblock potential in different areas of a young person’s life, e.g. teachers or occasionally where they are at risk of significant harm. Still, wherever possible, this will be done with your agreement, and we take your right to privacy seriously. (Please ask about our informed consent policy).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ys Girls mentoring?

The Y’s Girls mentoring programme matches girls and young women aged 9–14 years old with a trained volunteer mentor from their community. The mentor will spend up to two hours per week with the young person, doing fun activities that the young person is interested in.

Is it voluntary?

Y’s Girls mentoring is entirely voluntary. The young person can opt-out at any time. Parents will be informed of any changes.

How did you receive my child’s details?

Your daughter’s details may have been passed to us by a local agency that feels they may benefit from having a mentor. This may be done via school or another agency your daughter has contact with. Your daughter may have self-referred to access the Y’s Girls mentoring programme.

Will I get to meet the mentor?

If your daughter chooses to have a mentor, they will usually be introduced together at your home so you can meet them face-to-face.

Do I have to drop my child off and pick them up?

The mentor will come to your home to pick your daughter or the child you care for up. The mentor will inform you of their planned activity, the location and the estimated time of return. Mentors are encouraged to use public transport and only use their car to transport a child with your consent.

How long does it last?

The mentoring relationship lasts for around one year, but this can change depending on the young person’s circumstances.

What records do you keep?

All records of activities and information for monitoring and evaluation purposes are kept securely and are careful to uphold your confidentiality.

How will I know my child is safe?

All mentors undergo mandatory safeguarding checks (PVG, DBS etc.) and have references undertaken before recruitment.

Mentors also receive specific training and ongoing support to help them choose activities that are both safe and fun, as well as adhering to YMCA policies and procedures.

The Project Coordinator receives regular reports about the activities to keep an overview, and our young people are regularly asked for their feedback.

What if I want to provide feedback?

Parent and carer views are fundamental to us. You will regularly have the opportunity to give your thoughts when the young person’s action plan is reviewed and at any agreed visits to your home.

You can also contact the Project Coordinator directly to raise any issues. We welcome any feedback to improve the service, and you can always contact us via email or contact us below.

How can I refer my daughter or a young person to Y's Girls?

You can contact us for an informal chat anytime. Fill in our quick contact form below.

The Y’s Girls programme has been made possible by generous funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Tampon Tax Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

The project aims to establish 250 mentoring relationships across 10 YMCAs based across the UK from February 2021 until July 2022. The current funding covers YMCA’s in North Tyneside, Cardiff, East Surrey, Black Country Group, Bradford, Nottinghamshire, Lisburn, Southend, Tayside and Downslink Group with a view to expansion. Please contact us for more information.