What is it?
Our mentoring programme provides 14 to 30 year olds with personally tailored support for their individual advancement. It comprises one-to-one sessions with trained and supported industry or pastoral mentors, coaching, training, work experience and group respite trips.
We also provide a range of workshops introducing different industries. Led by young black professionals, these workshops aim to inform and inspire young people in schools and colleges.
Who's it for?
Our focus is on young people who would otherwise be isolated or vulnerable due to a lack of financial support, caring guidance and access to the opportunities needed to fulfil adult lives. These may include young carers, refugees, looked after young people and others facing substantial challenges in their young lives. We provide the positive experiences that enable them to escape the devastating impact that disadvantaged circumstances can have on their general wellbeing.
Our mentoring is driven by the specific needs of each individual and can last up to 18 months. Mentees gain a deeper understanding of their own needs and motivation, enabling them to overcome disadvantages and advance their lives.
Individuals, organisations and companies that volunteer to work with us in a mentoring capacity also find that the experience enriches their own learning and values.
An 18-year-old in semi-care, Jonel had a finance industry mentor. The aim was to enable Jonel deliver a project on the foundations of business for peers in The Gambia. The mentor’s approach was to ensure that the project helped to build Jonel’s confidence, educational aspirations and career ambitions. Of course, the project also had to be relevant to the needs of the young people it was aimed at in The Gambia. Both Jonel and his mentor worked together closely on researching, planning and structuring the project.
Jonel delivered a fantastic project that was well received and much appreciated by an enthusiastic group of young people in The Gambia. He not only thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but was also inspired to focus on completing college and reached out to us for further support when writing his personal statement. We are delighted that he successfully gained admission to Newcastle University to study Mathematics and Statistics.
“Having someone to mentor me through that experience was amazing. I am a much more confident person now.”
Not all young people are able to complete their mentoring within 18 months or less. For Michael, who had particular learning and support needs, the transition to wellbeing took three years of our support. His mentoring began with us when he was 21. Michael had been referred to us by our partners Collage Arts, who had been trying to steer him towards work without success. They recognised that Michael needed the sustained pastoral mentoring that we specialise in.
While Michael was being mentored, we provided him with a safe space to gain work experience and develop his research and administration skills. Our approach also gave Michael the opportunity to slowly build relationships with others, which for him was an especially difficult challenge at the time.
Michael required many supportive interventions during his time with us. These included referrals to specialist support, personal development training, respite trips and employment experiences. He is now training to be an accountant while working as an employee of one of our partner organisations.
“KORI’s mentoring saw me through a difficult time when no one else was there, into adult employment and training. They were really committed to my success.”
Secondary school can be a very difficult place for young people. Even with supportive parents or carers, a young person may need an external adult to help them withstand the pressures they are experiencing. Shana was 15 and struggling with anxiety in the face of bullying and isolation at school. Her sessions with her mentor became a space where she was able to explore and unpack the school experience and build her self-esteem, whilst also nurturing her creativity.
Shantel worked with her mentor to slowly re-build her creative confidence and broaden her experience and life skills. She and her mentor visited exhibitions together, undertook shared reading and prepared Shantel for college. She has now successfully entered college, studying photography, media and art. We are delighted that Shantel also still keeps in touch with her mentor.
“For me, my mentor was my go-to person for that big transition from school to college. I wanted a different experience in college and she helped me get there.”