Mentoring runs through every aspect of a young adult’s CATCH Scotland programme, whether therapeutic education, vocational training or housing support. All staff meet regularly to ensure that they are ‘on the same page’ regarding meeting each young adult’s identified specific needs and objectives.
Mentoring at CATCH covers the whole spectrum of a young person’s life. It can simply be someone to confide in, to help him/her solve a current problem, or someone trusted with whom to discuss issues such as personal hygiene and low self-esteem. It also can involve supporting a young adult’s mental and physical health by ensuring that he/she attends necessary external appointments, or facilitating family relationships where appropriate by working with the young person and his/her family
A key part of the CATCH Mentoring programme is to expose young people to as many life opportunities as possible through its ‘Skills for Work’, ‘Effective Health, Personal and Social Development’ and ‘Skills for Life’ activities. These are designed to allow each young adult to experience a variety of new things and to help them with their decision making and self-confidence as they move forward towards independent living within the community.
To this end, CATCH has established for example, memberships in local gyms to encourage young adults to integrate into the community and to share some exercise with staff, whether it’s in the gym or simply walking.
Young people also are encouraged to participate in a variety of community projects to show them how giving back and helping other people can promote an enhanced sense of personal reward by enabling them to feel good about themselves.
Teamwork is a further key element in enabling each young adult to see how effective working together with others can be in achieving a common goal. Similarly, empowering young people to make their own choices in life is a significant factor in their personal development, and mentors are there to help each young adult discuss the pros and cons of decisions, talk through possible consequences and help plan future developments.
To promote such experiences, all staff follow the SHANARI model, which provides a further focus for effective Personal Support Planning, development and evaluation.