Local businesses interested in providing guidance and advice to local school children are being urged to get in touch to become part of an inspiring mentor project, the 60 Minute Mentor Programme (60M
The 60MM is an inspiring and award-winning project that is managed by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, matching local business leaders with groups of local year 8 students for inspirational mentoring sessions. The project, which was set up by the council in 2016, runs with groups of 10 students matched to a mentor for a seven-month period. The programme consists of two group and two individual meetings with the mentor, providing a mix of experience and confidence building for the student.
Unfortunately, Covid restrictions interrupted the last school year, but the programme has continued delivery with the cooperation of schools and business leaders. Through virtual sessions, 60MM has continued to provide support to 70 students of four local schools: Eastwood Academy, Chase High, Southchurch High, and St. Bernard’s.
This academic year, 120 students across Southend-on-Sea will get the opportunity to take part as the project returns to full capacity, allowing the programme to boost its success further with students, schools, and businesses. Moving forward, the programme will go on to provide useful, bespoke advice to students by helping even more young people in Southend schools, to talk independently about their future plans, dreams, and aspirations, and also gain valuable 1-2-1 guidance.
Cllr Laurie Burton, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “With the help of the programme, these students were given the opportunity to talk about big decisions they would have to make with their education and explore their possible futures and career paths. When the students were asked about the programme, 80% of the students involved said the programme was a positive experience and that it had helped them think about their future careers, which goes to show how important this can be for future personal development.
“We are always on the lookout for local businesses that would be keen to get involved and help our young people through this mentoring scheme. We know our local business community really care about our town’s children, and this project gives them the opportunity to provide advice and guidance to the future leaders of the Borough.”
If you are interested in being a business mentor, providing advice and guidance to students at year 8 level, with a time commitment of 3.5 days per year, please contact Sarah Fenn, mentoring officer.