Our Peer Mentoring Scheme was launched in Autumn 2009 in Northamptonshire. Under the Scheme, ten care leavers were supported and trained as mentors each year at the same time as being helped to progress their own further education, training or employment. Once they were ready to take on the role, the mentors were then matched with younger children who were still in care. These younger mentees value the support of those who have been through the same system and are not authority figures and the mentors are able to share the benefit of their experience in care.

Northamptonshire
Our innovative scheme for supporting care leavers is now in its 8th year in Northamptonshire, and has supported 15 care leavers a year for the last 4 years. This is nearly half the total number leaving care at the age of 16 in the county.

Many of these care leavers have now completed their NVQs or have found apprenticeships or employment and are making fantastic progress in their chosen careers. Our latest group of mentors have been identified and are being supported in their progress towards further education, training or employment.

It is hoped that a similar number of care leavers will be supported each year. We are also developing more group mentoring arrangements instead of individual matches.

Peterborough
In April 2013 the Brighter Futures project was extended to the Peterborough City Council area, after a successful pilot scheme. 10 Care leavers in Peterborough are now supported each year towards further education, training and jobs.

Right Resolution
The work on these projects is carried out for the Trust by Right Resolution, a local Community Interest Company with a wealth of experience in dealing with care leavers and those in care. As part of the crucial development of the mentors’ self-confidence and team-building skills, they have participated in a number of residential weekends with the support of the Chelsea Kids Camp project that is based at Eastbourne University. These have been a tremendous success.

The Nene Valley Care Trust, in both Northamptonshire and Peterborough, is providing robust models of working which are recognised by the local Social Care Teams. The practices are now being imbedded into the wider work of these local teams. Recent conversations with Ofsted have validated the excellent practice of the Trust's workers.