Mentoring & Befriending

MandB-APS_colourThe Young Lives Foundation has been re-accredited with The NCVO Mentoring and Befriending Approved Provider Standard, 2017-2020!

Read more!

YLF Mentoring Programmes

Our trained volunteer mentors motivate, guide and assist young people considered to be at risk of offending, socially excluded or in need of support. There are a number of reasons why a young person and their family may benefit from having a mentor. These could be:

  • ladder4Troubled home life
  • Peer group pressure
  • Poor attainment at school, truancy or exclusion
  • Personal issues – such as drug misuse, alcohol or mental illness
  • Poverty and deprivation

A mentor can help to combat these risk factors by:

  • Building a relationship of trust and mutual respect
  • Being a positive role model
  • Offering encouragement, guidance and support
  • Helping the young person identify and achieve positive goals

Mentors meet with the young people each week over agreed periods of 6-9 months at the young person’s school, home or in the local community, building their self-esteem and encouraging and rewarding positive behaviour.

We support young people and their families to achieve goals such as improved relationships within the home, reduced anti-social behaviour, improved educational attainment, joining a club or taking part in positive activities.

photo 4“Having a mentor helped me find a club to join in my area and to get on better at home.”
Jay | young person

“We’ve been delighted the progress some of our more needy children have made. The difference it has made has been so obvious.  Children on the verge of exclusion are now engaging with the school, they are happier in class and more willing to participate. The families have also noticed a positive change.” Sharron Parish | NLL Academy

Read about Danielle’s Story here



HeadStart’s ambition is to equip young people to better deal with difficult circumstances in their lives, so as to prevent them experiencing common emotional and mental health problems.

HeadStart will focus on building a sustainable system where every young person in Kent will be able to say with confidence:

“People around me understand wellbeing and how to promote it.”

“My overall wellbeing is not impacted by the pressure to achieve and to be perfect.”

“There is always someone for me to talk to.”

Find out more about HeadStart here

Find out how you could become a mentor!

YLF Independent Visitors Service

Our trained volunteers visit, advise and befriend young people in care and take a long-term interest in their well-being and development. In doing this, they act as independent visitors for the young people, a role defined in the Children Act 1989.

Young people may experience multiple changes of placement, carer and social worker during their time in care. Often our volunteer independent visitors are the only consistent adult in the young people’s lives. Our independent visitors:

  • Are committed to a minimum period of two years
  • Are carefully matched with young people with similar interests
  • Meet with their young person twice a month
  • Share in a wide range of activities and outings
  • Take time to give advice, assist with problems and empower their young person to problem solve
  • Are able to attend professional meetings at the young person’s request

“The best thing about having an IV is not only do we do things I like to do, but I’m learning new things that I hadn’t thought would be interesting – like photography.” Abbi | young person

“We do so much together – she’s become a good friend and someone I can rely on. She encourages me and I can talk about things that are worrying me.” Jo | young person

“YLF is offering an excellent service which is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs to the young people it supports.” NCVO APS Mentoring & Befriending Assessor | 2017

Find out how you could become an independent visitor