A scheme spearheaded by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street to help disadvantaged young people get ahead is to receive a cash boost.
Mayor’s Mentors is to get a slice of a £270,000 grant from the Nesta/Department for Culture, Media and Science Connected Communities (DCMS) Innovation Fund.
The money has been awarded to One Million Mentors (1MM), a project working to ensure every young person in the UK has access to a trained mentor and which runs Mayor’s Mentors on behalf of Andy Street.
Mayor’s Mentors aims to match 1,000 mentors with 1,000 young people aged 11 to 25 in the West Midlands.
Mentors are people who have been successful in their careers and are paired with a young person to whom they can pass on life skills and advice.
Tracey Couch MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society said: “Volunteering has a hugely beneficial impact on people’s lives. It has the power to harness community spirit and strengthen local areas by improving people’s wellbeing and decreasing social isolation.
“This investment will create more opportunities for people to share their skills while supporting people in need – it will also help provide a rewarding experience for the volunteers themselves. I am looking forward to seeing the impact it has on a range of areas over the next few years.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and founder of Mayor’s Mentors said: “This new funding will give us the chance to make a difference to many more young people’s lives in the West Midlands.
“We now need mentors to step forward. If you have had successful career, and want to use your talents and experience to benefit other, please sign up to become a Mayor’s Mentor today.”
1MM is run by Uprising, a UK-wide youth leadership development organisation working to open up opportunities for young people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.
Alveena Malik, co-founder and director of 1MM, said: “1MM is delighted to be awarded the Connecting Communities Fund.
“We are looking to improve our offer, build a strong narrative in terms of impact and scaling mentoring to a level never seen before in the West Midlands and the UK.”
Mayor’s Mentors scheme was launched last November and aims to recruit 1,000 people by the end of 2018.
So far 600 people have been recruited, of which 200 are now fully trained.
The money awarded by Nesta/DCMS will be used to continue recruitment and training.
Mentors will typically meet with a young person, either face to face or virtually, one hour per month, for up to twelve months, to discuss the young person’s ambitions and career opportunities.
To become a Mayor’s Mentor, sign up here: https://www.onemillionmentors.org.uk/