Kids Inspire provides mental health and trauma recovery support for children, young people and their families across Essex. Through a range of therapeutic treatments, mentoring and community activities the child-centred charity promotes resilience, self-awareness, and relationship building to empower more positive life choices for all who they work with.
For the most sustainable long-term outcomes, therapy and mentoring is offered to family members of a referred child or young person. This holistic approach offers the family unit opportunity to work together towards positive life choices. Additionally, mentoring is regularly offered as a ‘step-down’ service - an opportunity for young people to test their empowering emotional resilience that therapy has awarded them. Funding from ICAP Charity Day 2017 enabled Kids Inspire to sustain a successful Mentoring Programme. The team of volunteer mentors has continued to expand, and more mentees have been supported as a result.
Mentoring has made a massive difference to my life and I know that I am more confident and stronger because of it.Kids Inspire Mentee
Fully trained mentors support children and young people with issues including peer relationships, bullying, risk of exclusion, or school avoidance. Experienced mentors are also trained to support children and young people with more complex and long-term difficulties that stem from family dysfunction, social isolation and loneliness, domestic violence, and abuse.
I like it when I see my mentor after school, I have someone just for me to talk to and do things with.Kids Inspire Mentee
During the pandemic mentoring has been mostly limited to online and has focused on offering space and time to a young mentee.
Specialised training is delivered to volunteer mentors who have successfully made it through a selection and interview process. Kids Inspire’s mental health and trauma specialists deliver the full programme of training, with theoretical underpinning of child and adolescent development alongside practical tools and techniques.
Case study: Chloe - “My experience being mentored…”
Chloe was referred to Kids Inspire when she was 10. She was experiencing family issues and she sometimes found it difficult trying to manage.
“When I first met my mentor, Jane, I was shy, but she has helped me grow and to become the confident person I am now."
I spoke to Jane regularly during lockdown, she phoned me to check how I was doing. During our sessions we would talk about any worries or concerns that I had at the time. This has positively impacted me helping me to talk about my emotions and how I felt. I knew I could talk to Jane about anything and that she would always be there for me to support me through everything. Because of Jane I feel like I have changed as a person. Mentoring has brought out a new side to me, someone who is confident, optimistic, and positive. It’s changed my mindset and I know not to think so negatively, it has also made me realise how lucky I am to have received the help I needed.”
You can listen to Chloe and her mentor Jane talking to Kids Inspire about her experience here.