Become a volunteer today!

Who we are

PROMISEworks is a local charity based in Somerset, offering mentoring services to disadvantaged children and young adults across the county. Our incredible volunteers are at the heart of our work.

Make A Difference

With our training and support, our volunteers become fantastic mentors to young, vulnerable children through weekly/fortnightly meet ups across the 2 years volunteering with us.

Become a mentor

We are always looking to welcome new people to our volunteer team who want to perhaps learn new skills, meet new people and definitely make a difference. PROMISEworks is offering training for our new mentors on the below dates – it is not too late to sign up!

Our Training Dates – 2024

9th Feb – 17th Feb – 24th Feb – 1st Mar SPACES AVAILABLE
12th Apr – 20th Apr – 27th Apr – 3rd May SPACES AVAILABLE
17th May – 25th May – 8th June – 14th June SPACES AVAILABLE

New Evening Course 6 – 9.30 pm:
19th June – 26th June – 3rd July – 10th July – 17th July – 24th July – 31st July SPACES AVAILABLE

Education staff course:
12th Aug – 13th Aug – 14th Aug – 15th Aug SPACES AVAILABLE

13th Sept – 21st Sept – 28th Sept – 4th Oct SPACES AVAILABLE
22nd Nov – 30th Nov – 7th Dec – 13th Dec SPACES AVAILABLE

The Process

Step one – Complete the application pack to sign up.

Step two –
A staff member will get in touch to schedule a meeting to discuss volunteering with us.

Step three –
Attend one, of our 4 day training courses.

Step four –
Complete the form provided after training, designed to help match you with the right mentee.

Step five –
We will make an appointment with you to go through this form. Any other paperwork will be completed at this point.

Step six –
Our case holders will match you to a mentee.

Our Mentor Training

Our training course is essential to equip you with the skills and knowledge you will need to go on to mentor. The course is 4 days, usually 2 week days and 2 Saturdays, held in various parts of the county. Once you have completed the training you need to be able to spare 2-3 hours either weekly or fortnightly to meet with your young person.

The big questions we ask all prospective mentors to think about is can you commit to a relationship with a young person that will last 2 years? PROMISEworks mentoring is an “Attachment Theory” based model, you will find lots more information about attachment both here on the website and during the training course, in a nutshell we are trying to help a young person reassess how they form relationships and where they fit into their world and you can’t do that overnight!

Occasionally during the training, a volunteer may decide not to complete the course, or sometimes we may have a concern about an individual’s suitability to mentor. This is a recognised part of the recruitment process and will be handled with professionalism.

Once you have finished the training we will give you a form to complete, designed to help us with matching you to a young person. We will make an appointment to come and talk through the form with you, usually at home and it is at this stage that we complete all the paperwork for you to begin your mentoring.

Please see the following short film showing feedback from the training:

What makes a good Promiseworks mentor?

An ideal mentor is someone who has time, who cares, who wants to communicate and have fun.

There is no upper age limit to who can train to be a mentor, we rarely train anyone under the age of 21 for a number of reasons, the 2-year commitment mentioned above is one of them. But we have trained a number of volunteers in their early 20’s who have gone on to become outstanding mentors. You don’t need to have a tough childhood yourself to mentor, nor do you need to have had a perfect upbringing and been a top scholar, the normal highs and lows that most of us encounter during our lives are the shared experience amongst most of our volunteers.

Of course, you can still have holidays, some of our mentors are away for a month at a time; there are lots of ways you can stay in touch with your mentee. If you are keen to mentor but know that you cannot commit to 2 years, please do still have a conversation with us… it may be that a young person has been referred to us that needs some slightly different support over a shorter period.

What about a criminal record?

An ideal mentor is someone who has time, who cares, who wants to communicate and have fun.

There is no upper age limit to who can train to be a mentor, we rarely train anyone under the age of 21 for a number of reasons, the 2-year commitment mentioned above is one of them. But we have trained a number of volunteers in their early 20’s who have gone on to become outstanding mentors. You don’t need to have a tough childhood yourself to mentor, nor do you need to have had a perfect upbringing and been a top scholar, the normal highs and lows that most of us encounter during our lives are the shared experience amongst most of our volunteers.

Of course, you can still have holidays, some of our mentors are away for a month at a time; there are lots of ways you can stay in touch with your mentee. If you are keen to mentor but know that you cannot commit to 2 years, please do still have a conversation with us… it may be that a young person has been referred to us that needs some slightly different support over a shorter period.

My own transport?

Well getting about in Somerset on public transport is a challenge, but if you feel able to do it then it is a useful skill to teach a young person, so no, you do not have to have your own transport but it would definitely be a bonus.

Introducing you to a young person – The Matching Process

PROMISEworks have dedicated Case Holders who will compare the needs of the mentee with the mentor to make a match. This is a great deal of work which will be supported by our Manager. The matching process takes place as soon as possible after the training, but we are dealing with young people and families who often have quite chaotic lives so sometimes this process takes a little longer.

Case Holders – the crucial support to our mentoring volunteers

You will probably feel quite uncertain as you start to mentor, and this is where the support from your Case Holder will be invaluable. You will have a named Case Holder who will introduce you to your mentee, but you will also have the back-up of the rest of the staff team should you need. Our phones are on 24/7 so if you have any concerns about the young person you are matched with you can always reach someone to talk things through. No need to wait for the next working day.

When you are planning what to do during your mentoring visits you may need to check with your Case Holder whether it is OK to undertake a particular activity. Please do, we can make most things possible, but we may need to gain some extra consent before you set off.

When you are more used to mentoring and the relationship with your mentee is going well, your Case Holder will support you with regular review meetings, a combination of phone based and face to face. These will give you the opportunity to talk through any problems you are encountering and celebrate all the successes.

Your Case Holder will also be the person who helps you to end the relationship with your mentee when you both feel the time is right, ensuring a positive ending for all concerned.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with PROMISEworks

If you are ready to apply, please complete an application form. If you still have questions and would like to talk to one of our area coordinators, please complete a contact form and we will be in touch.

Alternatively, call us on 0300 365 1900 to request a pack in the post or request a call back from us. Thank you.

Once we have received your completed pack, a member of staff will call you to arrange to meet up, this gives us a chance to talk through the scheme in as much detail as we can to make sure it is the right volunteering opportunity for you.

Watch video training feedback

Empathy

Do you have any questions?

If you have any questions about our work, or want to know more about how you can support our charity, we’d love to hear from you.