Project information

Blackburn Youth Zone "Time for Me" Project

“Time for Me” is a mentoring project for vulnerable young people at serious risk of social exclusion. Young people will receive one to one support from a dedicated volunteer mentor to achieve their aspirations; build self esteem; overcome barriers to participation and reach their full potential.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Blackburn Youth Zone

Blackburn Youth Zone logo
  • Need


    Young people in Blackburn with Darwen are vulnerable for a range of reasons including poverty, substance misuse, physical or mental illness, or because of problems at home. This often results in behavioural problems, social isolation and low self esteem and in turn leads to poor educational attainment. There is very little preventative early help around positive mental health and as a result, young people can find themselves with no help at all at a time when they really need it.


    Young people will receive regular one to one support from a dedicated volunteer mentor to achieve their aspirations and set goals; build self esteem; overcome barriers to participation and reach their full potential. We will take a full cycle approach to supporting young people on their mentoring journey. Those who require more intensive support will be matched with an adult volunteer mentor whilst young people with low level needs will be matched with a “Young Leader” peer mentor.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    50 mentees will achieve their personal objectives, gaining increased self esteem and confidence.


    » Action plans are created with the young person assessing and identifying their support needs and goals they wish to achieve through the match.
    » Young people's progress is measured on a regular basis using strengths and difficulties questionnaires to assess their distance travelled.
    » Mentoring coordinator regularly meets with the mentee and mentor separately to review how the match is progressing and to discuss views of mentoring.

    What success will look like

    50 young people referred into the mentoring project will have achieved the goals they set in their action plan at the start of their mentoring journey and feel more confident.

    Aim 2

    50 young people will gain improved social skills and wider social networks as a result of mentoring


    » Mentors meet weekly with their mentee, encouraging improved conversation skills and introducing them to wider social groups through fun activities.
    » Through peer mentoring, Young Leaders will encourage their mentees to join in Club activities, developing healthy relationships with their peers.

    What success will look like

    Young people will report that they feel more confident in socialising with their peers, with wider friendship groups and feel able to speak openly with supportive adult mentors.

    Aim 3

    50 young people will demonstrate increased engagement in education, employment or volunteering.


    » We will establish a referral programme with schools and promote mentoring to young people, explaining its benefits to their personal development.
    » At the end of mentoring relationships, evaluation of the scheme is carried out by mentees, mentors, parents, carers and schools.
    » We will engage mentees who have successfully achieved their goals to become peer mentors, bringing their knowledge and experience to the project.

    What success will look like

    Schools referring into the project will report improvement in mentees' engagement with education; young people will actively explore their futures and 10 will become peer mentors.

    Aim 4

    25 Young Leader peer mentors will have increased levels of personal responsibility and self-esteem


    » All young leaders will receive training in communications and issue based skills, youth work and mentoring, gaining confidence as peer mentors.
    » We will use their feedback on both the training and their experiences of being peer mentors to continually develop and improve the programme.

    What success will look like

    Through wellbeing questionnaires carried out with young leader peer mentors across the match, they will demonstrate increased levels of confidence and self esteem.

    Aim 5

    We will create a new network of 30-50 adult mentors committed to supporting vulnerable young people


    » We will promote volunteering opportunities widely within the community in order to recruit suitable mentors.
    » Monitoring of the service is carried out via quarterly mentors’ forums and we involve mentors in ongoing design of training based on their feedback.
    » Experienced mentors are involved in the delivery of training to new volunteers and and will act as “buddies” to support their mentoring journey.

    What success will look like

    We will recruit 30-50 adult mentors from the local community who are committed to meeting with their mentee on a weekly basis for the length of the match, usually 6-12 months.

  • Impact


    "Time for Me" provides a low level prevention approach to improving young people's mental health, boosting their resilience, increasing their social skills and improving their long term life chances by supporting their journey into education, training or employment. This will be demonstrated via wellbeing questionnaires carried out across the length of the project with mentees and via young people's, mentors' and stakeholders' feedback during the project and beyond to understand our impact.


    Risk of lack of young people's engagement with the project- we have a clear recruitment strategy for mentees ensuring that they are aware of what is involved in the programme. It is important that young people feel that we are focused solely on their needs and interests and that mentors are there for them on a voluntary basis - we are not “yet another” agency involved with the family. The mentoring coordinator gets to know each young person so that they can be matched to an appropriate mentor.


    We will communicate to donors via our website and other social media and a quarterly newsletter detailing progress of the project overall as well as providing case studies of mentees, Young Leader peer mentors and adult mentors as well as stakeholder feedback on the programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £40,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £26,000 Mentoring coordinator Mentoring coordinator - full time plus on costs
      £6,500 Volunteer expenses Volunteer expenses for travel and activities - caseload of 25 mentors meeting weekly with mentee
      £2,000 Group activities 4 group activities a year, allowing mentors and mentees to meet each other and share experiences
      £2,000 Activity costs - peer mentors Costs for peer mentor activities in Club across the twelve months
      £1,000 Marketing materials Promotional and recruitment materials for referrals and volunteering
      £1,500 Administration costs Stationery, phone, IT and postage costs
      £1,000 Evaluation costs Internal and external evaluation costs
  • Background


    Blackburn with Darwen has one of the highest proportions of young people in the country but is also the 10th most deprived borough in England. This level of deprivation brings with it poor levels of health, poor educational attainment, drug and alcohol misuse, offending and family breakdown. The borough was rated in a recent ONS report as having one of the lowest levels of personal wellbeing, with significant section of the population being socially isolated, and at risk of loneliness.


    Local young people aged 8-19 will have the opportunity to engage in the project via a referral programme with schools and colleges and also those not engaging in education will be referred into the project via the Youth Zone's internal referral system. Both Young Leader peer mentors and adult volunteer mentors will benefit from our commitment to their personal development via training and support from the mentoring coordinator and wider training opportunities made available at the Youth Zone.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Youth Zone has good knowledge of the borough's young people and issues affecting them with an already established membership of 3,500 young people; we have a successful volunteer training programme already in place; we have delivered a successful pilot mentoring project working with 15 young people and now have a waiting list and have good links with schools and agencies. We have a wide range of sports and arts activities on site at the Youth Zone for mentors and mentees to engage in.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rose Morgan

    Rose is our volunteer and mentoring coordinator who has successfully delivered a pilot project with a caseload of 15 mentees and mentors.


will support a young person on their mentoring journey across a year to reach their goals.

I was working a 15-year-old girl who was on the verge of being excluded from school and refused to engage with any agencies. The Youth Zone’s mentoring pilot has had a real positive impact on how she deals with situations, and she now has great attendance at school. More young people need this!

Emma Painter, Family Intervention Key Worker, Blackburn with Darwen Council