Smestow School – Rotary Student Mentoring Project

Ask any Rotarian what it is about membership that brings them the most satisfaction and you’re likely to hear that it’s the satisfaction that comes from helping others – summed up in the Rotary motto of Service Above Self . At Tettenhall we see our Club’s service projects as the most important part of what we do.

Since September 2005 members of the Club and of Tettenhall Inner Wheel have been involved in a mentoring programme at Smestow School in Castlecroft. Currently seven Rotarians and two Inner Wheelers are providing mentoring support to the students there.

Each mentor is assigned two students from years 10 and 11by the School who they meet with every two weeks during term time. Some of the students come from backgrounds in which there are no positive role models, or in which they don’t receive the necessary support and encouragement and some may be exposed to negative outside influences. The Rotary mentors listen to the issues raised by the students, suggest solutions to their problems and generally provide support, encouragement and advice.

To date over 100 students have taken part in the programme and Headteacher Martyn Morgan is convinced that the program makes a real difference to the students who take part.

We feel that having an independent ear to listen and support, acting as an intermediary working on behalf of both the school and the student, helps keep these young people engaged.
Many of the concerns are to do with academic progress. Our mentors ask for and receive regular updates on the progress of the students and often inform us of concerns students have. However, as many concerns are social and/or personal the caring and compassionate way they listen and offer firstly support and secondly advice is well appreciated.
As a school this programme is tremendously helpful. It gives us another independent strand of support to help young people struggling to come to terms with the multiple demands and issues teenagers face.
We are grateful for their time given so willingly and so freely. In return we give them tea and cake – somehow I feel that we and the youngsters get the best part of this deal“.

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