Stoke on Trent College shortlisted for NAMSS Award
Stoke on Trent College have been shortlisted for a National Association for Managers of Student Services (NAMSS) Award in the ‘Best Student-Led Initiative’ category!
Staff Lead, Claire Oliver, has overseen the creation of our Peer Mentor Scheme that originated from a learner having an initial idea to help and support other learners whilst in College. This idea has been developed by learners, with staff supervision, into a fantastic Peer Mentor Programme and is an excellent strong learner-led initiative.
They are such an asset to the college, they work extremely hard to ensure they support as many learners as possible including giving up their own personal time. It’s great that their hard work is being recognised nationally by being shortlisted for this award. Myself and Steve Taylor who work alongside and support them in their role are exceptionally proud of them.Claire Oliver, Safeguarding & Learner Wellbeing Co-ordinator
This academic year 10 learners from a range of abilities, ethnicities, core subjects and social backgrounds offer a wide range of support to any learner that would like to access it. The Peer Mentor team is trained to a high standard in Safeguarding, Prevention, Mental Health First Aid and are aware of the services available and how to make referrals into them. The Peer Mentors also promote our extensive Enrichment programme, supporting and encouraging learners to engage in the programme to meet new people and make new friends.
Whilst also supporting learners within College, the Peer Mentors assist and support the wider community, completing a number of charitable initiatives throughout the year including fundraising to donate care packages/Christmas gifts to local care homes and special schools. This year the Peer Mentors have also assisted the Challenge Stoke Project (in conjunction with Stoke City FC) raising awareness of homelessness in the local area and raising funds for the Macari Homeless Shelter. The Peer Mentors volunteer a great deal of their own time to carry out this role and effectively balance their studies, social life, part time employment and Peer Mentor commitments, this is a fantastic demonstration of commitment and dedication.
The Peer Mentors have had a huge impact on the learners who require support at Stoke on Trent College. They are making a real difference to the lives of young people by offering confidence building at lunch times for those that have anxieties, supporting and eating lunch with those learners who feel alone, whilst also offering hints and tips and supporting with coursework.
In addition, support and referrals into the College’s Safeguarding Team have been made to ensure the safety of the learners. The Peer Mentors have had a huge impact during the recent Lockdowns setting up an online ‘drop-in’ session which took place each week for learners struggling with their mental health and the general effect of being isolated.
Whilst carrying out their roles and receiving sustainable training, the peer mentors have further developed their own social and personal skills including communication, confidence, leadership and teamwork.
This group of learners have had a huge impact on the lives of so many!