Youth mentoring service recognised by national body for ‘excellent work’

Steve Coggins mentoring coordinator and Louise Calcutt support worker with Junction 21's NCVO accred

Steve Coggins mentoring coordinator and Louise Calcutt support worker with Junction 21's NCVO accreditation. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

A mentoring service for young people in North Somerset has been accredited by a national body.

After an inspection from an assessor from the National Council of Voluntary Organisations in November 2019, Junction 21, a mentoring and advocacy project managed by North Somerset Council, achieved the Approved Provider Standard (APS) recognising its 'excellent work'.

In the report, the inspector says: "The assessment process and interviews with the manager, young people and volunteers confirmed the matching process is carefully managed and underpinned by paperwork and good practice."

The APS aims to support safe and effective practice in mentoring and befriending.

Organisations that achieve the standard have been assessed and found to exemplify good practice in their management and operation, including their commitment to safe working practice; their processes for identifying service users and assessing their needs; the way they manage their mentors and befrienders, who are usually volunteers; and the way mentoring and befriending relationships are managed and the results they achieve.

Debbie, one of the volunteer mentors, said: "Junction 21 is such a valuable service for both mentees and mentors alike. The support you get as a volunteer is second to none."

Junction 21 aims to give young people in North Somerset effective and individual support to achieve goals that will have a positive impact on their lives and their communities.

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The service matches young people to volunteer mentors who meet with young people between the ages of 10 and 18 in their communities.

Cllr Catherine Gibbons - North Somerset Council executive member, whose portfolio includes children's services - said: "This accolade is recognition of the great work Junction 21 has been doing over the last 20 years.

"I would like to add my admiration and gratitude to the volunteers and, indeed, to all involved in delivering this incredibly important and much valued service.

"It demonstrates how an established service like this can really benefit young people in North Somerset by using volunteers who are trained, supervised and supported to a very high standard."

If you would like to volunteer, contact 01275 888360.