The Kids Network matches young professionals with a child aged 8-11 for a yearlong programme, which consists of weekly 1:1 sessions of around 1-3 hours long.
We see the biggest impact in the child’s resilience and confidence in the regular shorter sessions, rather than longer more sporadic sessions. Many of the children we support have multi agency support in their home life, disruptions at home, or may be dealing with anxiety, and so this impacts their school life and can make them extremely vulnerable as they move from primary to secondary school. By having time with a dedicated and fun adult, where the time is for them to choose what to do is not only so impactful, but is a valuable early intervention. This helps to broaden their horizons, understand their emotions and build curiosity for ambitious futures. See an insight into sessions and meet some mentors through a short video here.
We currently work with around 60 children in Hackney and Camden, with a Southwark and Lambeth programme launching in the new year (2020). We encourage mentors to lose their professional selves and explore London through a child’s eyes! We’ve heard of mentors having the opportunity to try new things with their mentees, such as archery and bouldering, but also seeing the magic in all the free and local opportunities London has to offer!
Alongside this, we are proud of the support system mentors can provide for one another. By creating a network for them, we hope to help tackle the growing impact of loneliness amongst professionals and students in London. We host monthly meet ups for our mentors, to continually equip them with new resources, but also give them the chance to share their wins, failures and advice with one another.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, I would encourage you to check out our website, where we have a short application form. After that is completed, a member of the team will be in touch to arrange a short phone call. Applicants must then complete a day and a half of training as well as DBS check.