Safe Space Mentoring Annual Event
On Saturday 20th January some our fantastic volunteer mentors came together for the Safe Space Annual event. We were joined by Cllr Fiona Thomson (Deputy Leader Hertfordshire County Council, Cabinet Member Children, Young People and Families, Councillor for Handside and Peartree, WGC) who presented the Mentor of the Year Awards, affectionately referred to as the MOTYs.
Before announcing the winners of the awards, the group took part in a training session on the Social Graaaacccees to consider how our personal and social identity may influence how we understand ourselves and others. There were some interesting discussions and reflections about how our mentors engage with their young mentees and how social graaaacccees affect relationships.
The winners of the 2023 MOTYs, which are nominated by their mentees were:
Mentor of the Year- Iain Bristow
Runner-up- Jo Fisher
New mentor of the Year- Mark Sawyer
Co-ordinator’s Award- Nick Corrigan
Long service awards (for 10+ years)- Paula Horsnell and Jayne Mouser
The Mentor of the Year and Runner Up are chosen from nominations from young people that have been supported during the year. They are contacted and asked to complete a form asking if and why they would like to nominate their mentor. It is lovely to receive their replies and read the difference they feel mentoring has made to them. Below are the comments received about the winner Iain:
“My mentor, Ian has improved my confidence a lot. When I first met Ian I was very quiet and kept my head down for the first few sessions but he was very patient with me. We talked through everything I wanted to work on and mine was ordering at shops. So, we decided to meet at costa and every week we worked on it. He challenged me but in a good way. We came up with loads of ideas to achieve my goal such as making a script, him coming up with me and many more. I eventually achieved my goal! The sessions would also be very fun and I would look forward to them every week. I am homeschooled so it was nice to have someone too talk about my week too and discuss interests and someone be interested about it. Even though my sessions have ended now I still rember all my skills” and find it so much easier to socialise and I like helping other people with my skills because thats what Ian did with me!”
After receiving his award as Mentor of the Year, Iain spoke passionately about how one of the other mentors, Adrian Whyle, who has been a Safe Space mentor since 2006, had not only introduced Iain to the mentoring programme in 2016, he had also mentored him as a teenager when he needed some additional support.