Innovista Thrive Team Community Mentor Barton Oxford Holly Bowtell

Meet Holly

02 Feb 2011

Holly volunteers for Innovista's Thrive Team in Barton as a Community Mentor. For many of the young people on Barton having a volunteer mentor, someone they can trust and who can offer practical support, will be a life changing experience. Holly, a 27 year old nurse, is working with a 13 year old girl from the estate who has been out of school for the past couple of years.

What attracted you to the Community Mentoring programme?
I had heard some of what Judy and the rest of the Thrive Team were doing in Barton and really liked the concept of living in the area in which you are working. So when I heard about the information evening on the Community Mentoring programme I decided to go along to find out some more. I was really impressed by what I heard. The Community Mentoring programme offers such a good opportunity to reach out to young people who are at risk of exclusion, offending, or family breakdown.

I knew straight away that I wanted to be involved (not just because they bribed us with cupcakes!) – I took the application form and signed up!

What was the process from signing up to meeting your young person?
After the initial information evening there was training which was held over three evenings and was very interactive, with lots of group work and role play (which I usually hate but was actually very useful!). After all the training and a not so scary interview, I was feeling excited and a little nervous about meeting my assigned young person. I’ll be meeting with her each week over the next year to give her the support she needs.

How is it going so far?
The initial meet up and first few sessions have gone really well and now I’m really looking forward to a year of McDonald’s milkshakes, ice skating, go-karting and making a new friend! One of her goals is to get back into education, so I'll be supporting her to achieve that."

In her young person’s words, “Holly is amazing!”

Bringing hope through young leaders in Barton, Oxford OX3

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