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Time4Me is an initiative which works with young people from across the Forth Valley area who face additional challenges and barriers in making a successful transition into their first year of college life. Using targeted, one-to-one mentoring as a framework for support, the overall aim is not only to help young people progress towards their desired outcomes and aspirations in relation to education, training and employment but help to sustain them.
Forth Valley College (FVC) has, over the years, built up a great deal of knowledge, experience and expertise in supporting young people, particularly those experiencing challenging circumstances. We understand the many barriers young people can face before even considering College as a viable option. FVC currently provides a wide range of support services to help all our learners realise their potential through for example additional learning support, provision of assistive technology, one-to-one counselling, access to health and wellbeing provision and mental health first aid training.
Time4Me will complement and add value to this support by prioritising young people in our area whose specific life circumstances may adversely impact their progression in relation to education and training.”
The project will prioritise young people who may be
• Care Experienced; by this we mean young people who have been looked after away from home, either in foster or residential care, young people in kinship care or young people who are cared for but remain at home.
• Young people caring for others
• Young people living in regeneration areas (SIMD 20).
We will work closely with our local secondary schools and other relevant agencies such as Social Work, Young Carers organisations, Criminal Justice and DYW Forth Valley to raise awareness of the mentoring opportunity and engage with young people prior to their transition to College.
Evaluation of Years 1 and 2 of the project (AY 2018/19 and 19/20) demonstrates that mentoring proved a successful intervention which supported transition into education and helped sustain retention and achievement.
The project is funded until the end of June 2022. Time4me will continue to gather high quality, evaluative information to measure impact against intended outcomes contributing to the evidence base regarding the efficacy of mentoring initiatives in an education setting. This seeks to inform future policy and practice in addressing inequality and ultimately effecting systems change.