Congratulations to TCA’s mentoring service for receiving the Quality Award 2015 and Certificate of Continuing Excellence at Scottish Mentoring Network’s annual recognition awards. Well done to the individual staff and volunteers who also received awards:
- Diane Simeon – Commended Mentor 2015
- Zara McKenzie – Commended Mentor 2015
- Amanda McCabe – Commended Peer Mentor 2015
- Danielle Gibson – Commended Volunteer Mentor 2015
- Caitlin McIlroy – Commended Volunteer Mentor 2015
Diane has been a mentor with TCA for over two years now and developed her role over this time. She has the some of the highest engagement levels with the women through the Scottish Government’s Reducing Reoffending services in Dundee.
Diane has also has taken it upon herself to support our peer mentors who have come through Women Only Mentoring and completed the Customised Award in Peer Mentoring and Support.
Diane has developed a mentoring role with all CLD and Social Work students who do their placement with TCA. She supports the students through an induction process, demonstrating all the mentoring processes i.e., monthly records, CJS updates, Court lists and outcome recording. Diane then works closely with students offering shadowing opportunities for up to three weeks.
A combination of shadowing, walking students through the mentoring processes and being around as a knowledgeable mentor, gives the students the best start possible when carrying out their placement. Diane has been a real asset in supporting peer mentors, students and new staff and does this effortlessly, as she has a real talent for mentoring and coaching people.
One Social Work student commented: “Having Diane guide me through the mentoring process was a valuable experience which allowed me to fully understand the various roles mentoring can involve. She was thorough and confident when I had queries.
“Diane accompanied me to my first service user meeting and was so supportive and gave me feedback which improved my confidence and I believe this has helped me in forming my own role as a mentor.
“As a mentor to service users and myself I feel Diane comes across as supportive, confident, realistic with service users, friendly, empowering. I feel she deserves an award which highlights and rewards her dedication to her work.”
Zara McKenzie has been a mentor for over two years with TCA and works with up to ten clients at a time on a one-one basis. She also works jointly with Community Justice Service (CJS) workers when required. This can involve anything from attending appointments with clients to doing more focussed time-line/self-esteem and family tree work.
Another part of Zara’s job has been delivering presentations on peer mentoring to CJS and drug and alcohol staff and presentations about the work of TCA to Public Service Partnership events, colleges and high schools. She has also re-designed the volunteer training and recruited and trained volunteers alongside our partners Churches Action for The Homeless.
Over the past year, Zara’s role has changed and she is now involved in two weekly drop-in sessions, attends operational meetings, crisis management meetings when needed and takes the women out walking when they want to go (weather permitting). She is available at the drop in for any of the women to speak to her and this has meant she is now recognised by all woman involved in Perth CJS. Zara was also involved in the summer programme last year and has given her availability to CJS for the new time table coming out.
Zara also facilitates a peer mentoring class every Wednesday, which involves planning each session, developing powerpoints and homework assignments for candidates. She runs a tutorial after the class for anyone who needs extra support.
After mentoring with the TCA for over six months, Amanda decided she wanted to use the skills she had learned to help other people. She successfully completed the SQA Accredited Award in Peer Mentor and Support Training in April 2015.
Since then, Amanda has been actively involved in TCA and has provided support to staff in a variety of ways.
Amanda is involved in the management team for the One Stop Women’s Learning Service (OWLS) and is keen to share her experiences of being involved in the project and improve it for other women. She attends OWLS drop in services on a voluntary basis and speaks with women who are involved in the project. Her kind and positive attitude is noted by all staff involved on the project and women who come into use the centre.
Amanda also supports TCA staff to deliver presentations on peer mentoring and speaks with potential candidates about her experience of the course.
Since completing the Peer Mentor course, Amanda has been supporting other candidates in a peer mentoring role. At the most recent peer mentoring in Perth, she went out of her way to be involved and provide support. She met with staff before the training to talk about how she would like to help co-facilitate with the training. As well as supporting candidates on the courses and offer her own knowledge and sharing experiences, she also supports course members who struggle with reading and writing.
Amanda has given up her own time and stayed behind with candidates after sessions and helped to write reflections and give them a tutorial session to make sure that they are understanding course materials. Candidates who have been on the course have really benefited from her help.
In May 2015, Amanda attended a Public Service Partnership event with TCA colleagues, where she shared her experiences of peer mentoring and answered questions about her work. She was also involved in creating a video clip about her experiences of the mentoring services in TCA and her experience of the peer mentoring course.
After completing TCA volunteer mentor training last year, Amanda returned to college. She is hoping to use the skills she has already learned as well as the skills being developed in college to work with disengaged young people.
Amanda is a patient and kind individual who is passionate about supporting others in a peer mentoring capacity. Her enthusiasm and humour makes each session of peer mentoring enjoyable and fun for everyone involved.
Danielle is a voluntee mentor who has been matched with four young people. She is always reliable, consistent and responsive to the complex needs of the young people she mentors. Danielle has proven to be a great role model to vulnerable young people as she is cool but a grounded young person herself. She has a very non-judgmental approach, which makes it easy for the young people to engage with her and feel accepted.
Mark Harris, TCA’s Operations Manager comments: “Danielle always completes the necessary paperwork and comes for her regular supervision, making my job easy. Overall Danielle is the kind of person you would like to have on your team.”
Caitlin started volunteering as a mentor with Plusone Angus in January 2015. Caitlin was matched a young male aged 10 who lived within the same community. The young person had been referred to Plusone because of his behaviours; he would act out negatively to attract attention from peers in school, community and within the home. This had lead him to become quite socially isolated and he had very few friendships.
Caitlin took a strong youth work approach with the young person, working from where he was at and at a pace he could cope with, and was incredibly patient and encouraging. Together they explored their local town of Arbroath and regularly attended the local library and played Uno, and loved to share a bag of chips from the local chip shop.
Over the summer holidays Caitlin had to work away for a month but she set the young person the challenge of attending the library without her – and the challenge was not only accepted but he won the summer competition of reading the most books!
This accomplishment not only saw an increase in the young person’s confidence but his increased literacy and numeracy skills were acknowledged by the school in a meeting with services and parents.
The mentoring relationship has now come to an end but as it was a phased exit, Caitlin managed to introduce the young person in to a TCA group ‘The Crew’, which he attends every week. Caitlin’s consistency and commitment to the young person resulted in an incredibly successful match for him.