At the end of last term three year 9 students, TJ Patrick, Sam Waller and Aidan Cawdery, received their 426teen mentoring programme certificates presented by the president of The Worthing Rotary Club (who kindly sponsor the programme) in a ceremony held at the school.
Durrington first launched the 426teen mentoring programme 5 years ago, supported by The Worthing Rotary Club and Nicki Godley from TSB, and have helped almost 100 students thrive by building their confidence and self-esteem. The mentors are volunteers, retired and working, that come from a variety of backgrounds, including solicitors and teachers.
At the start of the process the students and mentors complete a pen portrait which is used as a basis to match a student with a mentor they have common ground with and can relate to. They then take part in a ‘getting to know you’ session which is followed by 6 hour-long mentoring sessions which guide the students; giving them practical strategies on coping with stress, motivating and inspiring them and helping them understand how their studies relate to the real world of work.
Following the 6 sessions the students are presented with a certificate and continue to have contact with their mentor as they continue through the school. Past students that have completed the programme have gone on to participate in The Duke of Edinburgh scheme and take part in other extra-curricular activities they may not have had the confidence to do prior to the programme.
Sam Waller said of the programme ‘it has increased my confidence and although I still don’t know what I would like to do it has made me aware of the different jobs available. I think the programme is a good thing for people to do.’
Karen Jefford, Community and Enterprise Manger says ‘we are very grateful to the volunteer mentors and Worthing Rotary Club for their ongoing support of this fantastic programme. This programme is one of the ways in which we empower our students with knowledge about the working world, which in turns helps them to focus on the work they do in school, as they have a clear context of how important their current studies are in achieving their future goals. It is also helpful in building confidence for those students that need a boost, enabling them to take part in activities they may have otherwise shied away from. We are looking forward to continuing the programme with new students this term.’