Information pack

Information pack

What is Breakthrough?

Breakthrough is an activity based mentoring

scheme that uses skilled mentors to offer

weekly, one-to-one support to a range of

vulnerable people who have been identified

by an agency as being in need of support. Our

Mission Statement and values are shown below.

The project uses activities to help our mentees to

build positive relationships with adults and peers

as well as interests and skills that can be sustained

in the longer term. In some placements, short and

long term targets are set and closely monitored for

each placement and these are linked into reward


Mission Statement:

Breakthrough creates positive experiences and

relationships to affect vulnerable people in order to

help them achieve, grow, develop skills and realize

their full potential.


1) Making a difference

2) High quality mentoring

3) Person centered outcomes

4) Innovation

5) Belief in Breakthrough

6) Team work & team relationships


How are placements set-up?

1. Referral - a professional officer from a referring

agency refers the person in question onto the


2. Set-up meeting - a meeting is held with the

Breakthrough Co-ordinator, the referring agency,

supported person and if possible their parent/

guardian/carer. At this meeting the needs and

aims of all parties are discussed as well as targets

and potential activities. Logistical issues such

as transport and timings are also discussed. In

particular, Breakthrough’s code of confidentiality is

explained to all those at the meeting.

3. Matching mentor to mentee - the

Breakthrough Co-ordinator then identifies the most

appropriate mentor to work with the person in


4. The placement starts!


Activities can be anything that is safe and within

budget and can include sporting activities, arts and

crafts, voluntary work or helping your mentee apply

for a job. Breakthrough mentors are encouraged to

involve their mentee in the choice of activity.

In some placements, the Breakthrough coordinator,

the referring professional and the mentee

agree certain targets for the mentee to achieve. If

the mentee achieves these targets then the mentor

may arrange a reward event. It is important that

this event should be different and exciting but also

something that adds value in some way.

Exit strategy:

Before a placement finishes a meeting will take

place between the co-ordinator and the mentor

to discuss a suitable exit strategy for the mentee.

A key part of Breakthrough is building long term

friendships and interests for the mentee we are

supporting. Getting the mentee to join some sort

of community group to pursue an interest is always

desirable, as is building positive friendship groups.

Proving our outcomes:

We use a variety of methods to prove our

outcomes, including the Department of Health’s

Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire which

evaluates the mentee’s emotional and behavioural

development. Apart from this “hard” evidence, we

also encourage our mentors to keep a record of

“breakthroughs” big or small, such as learning to

ride a bike, leaving the house alone, joining a gym

and getting a place at college (“soft” outcomes).

Training and Support:

The Breakthrough team always aims to

provide as much support to our mentors as

possible. This includes information sharing,

an initial training programme followed by

further training modules if/when necessary,

availability for discussion and access to any

resources required.

We also operate a lone working policy that mentors

should adhere to.

Established mentors have constant support from

the following:

❚ Peer support group (with 3 planned team

meetings per year)

❚ Their Breakthrough Co-ordinator

❚ The Breakthrough Training and Development

Officer (a mentor for the mentors!)

❚ Other members of the Breakthrough

management team.

❚ 24 hour emergency support


If an issue arises or you need to clarify anything and

cannot get hold of your co-ordinator please call any

of the below:

Jonathan Wheeler


Mob: 07921492875


Jay Lee


Mob: 07795353825


Steve Spiers


Mob: 07711495867


Annette Cook

(Training and Development Officer)

Mob: 07740961595


Breakthrough will:

❚ Have a well-communicated Mission Statement

and values

❚ Recruit, train and develop mentors

❚ Have clear support structures for mentors

❚ Have a child/person centred approach

❚ Provide guidelines and boundaries for mentors

and mentees

❚ Match mentor to mentee (one-to-one)

❚ Agree targets (if appropriate) with mentee

❚ Agree an exit strategy with mentees (when


❚ Have good relationships with other agencies

❚ Demonstrate impact

Breakthrough mentors will:

High Quality Mentoring

Breakthrough aims to deliver a high quality mentoring programme with a

team of high quality mentors.

❚ Put their mentee first, at all times

❚ Give direction - guide and advise

❚ Promote change

❚ Be a positive role model

❚ Be willing to listen

❚ Give their mentee a chance to talk

❚ Be willing to share the benefits of their


❚ Provide positive reinforcement of their mentee as

an individual

❚ Give constructive feedback - direct but sensitive

❚ Observe boundaries - verbal and non-verbal

❚ Provide the mentee with appropriate tools/

techniques to develop and grow

❚ Provide a safe environment

❚ Go the extra mile!

Breakthrough mentors will be:

❚ Reliable

❚ A good communicator

❚ Empathetic

❚ Caring

❚ Trust wor thy

❚ Open and honest

❚ Professional

❚ Flexible

❚ Innovative/Creative

❚ Well organised – short term and long term

❚ Patient

❚ Approachable

❚ Resilient

Breakthrough aims to deliver a high quality mentoring programme with a

team of high quality mentors.

Breakthrough mentors will know:

❚ Breakthrough policies

❚ Some background information on physical and

emotional well being

❚ Why they are working with this particular mentee

❚ The history - including the referring body (eg

school, CAMHS)

❚ The overall objective

❚ Agreed goals/targets (if appropriate)

❚ The family situation

❚ The mentee

❚ personal profile

❚ needs

❚ strengths

❚ weaknesses

❚ trigger points

❚ current personal situation

And Finally

❚ Their limits!

IN SHORT, Breakthrough believes

that high quality mentoring is


❚ Being there

❚ Being Open and Honest

❚ Listening

❚ Guiding and Advising

❚ Caring

❚ Being child/person centred

Code of Practice

The purpose of this code of practice is to ensure that the relationship

between the mentee and mentor is as positive and successful as possible and

that each partner is clear about their roles.

Mentors should understand that when mentoring, they represent the Breakthrough

project and must therefore seek to act responsibly at all times.

1 Mentors should not aim just to socialise with their mentee. It must be a relationship that adds value to the

mentee’s life.

2 Mentors should not assume that their mentee likes them, will listen to them or will be honest with them.

3 Mentors should not make promises to their mentee that they cannot keep.

4 Mentors should complete the appropriate forms and reports as asked for by the coordinator.

5 Mentors should treat other people’s time with respect, by being punctual at all times.

6 Mentors should not buy expensive gifts for, or give money to, their mentee. Any small gifts should be

discussed first with the Breakthrough staff.

7 Mentors should not accept money from their mentee. Any other gifts or presents received by a mentor

must be discussed with the Breakthrough staff.

8 Mentors must not be under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance whilst with their mentee.

9 Mentors should not encourage or allow a young person to use alcohol or any illegal substance.

10 If a mentee turns up to a session under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance then the mentor

should inform the mentee that the session will not take place and explain why. They should then ensure

that their mentee is left in a safe place and inform the coordinator as soon as possible.

11 Mentors should never invite a mentee to their home, without prior agreement with Breakthrough staff.

12 Mentors must never enter into a physical/intimate relationship with any mentee they work with.

Confidentiality &

Managing Information

Code of Confidentiality

Within the mentoring relationship, it is important that the mentee knows that many

things they tell are, and will remain, confidential. However, they also have to be aware

that should they disclose anything which is illegal, or has the potential to cause harm

to themselves or others, the mentor has a duty to pass it on to an appropriate person.

❚ At the start of the placement (usually as part of the set-up meeting) the Breakthrough co-ordinator will

explain the code of confidentiality to the mentee.

❚ If there is a need to breach confidentiality (as explained above), Breakthrough or a relevant agency will

then explain to the mentee, prior to it happening, why this information needs to be shared and who will

be told. Where this is not possible (in an emergency) the mentee will be told of the breach at the earliest


❚ Any information passed to a mentor may be shared with the Breakthrough co-ordinator if the mentor

deems necessary. However, this information will not be shared with a third party outside the project

without permission from the source unless there is a risk of significant harm to an individual.

❚ Each mentee will be made aware that information is compiled on them and then shared with a mentor.

Mentees have the right to see any written information about them, in the presence of their mentor or the


❚ Mentors should not discuss personal details about any mentee with anyone outside the Breakthrough


❚ Mentors should be clear about what information they wish to share with a mentee and should not be

pressured to move from this.

❚ Where mentors record information, they should not record the mentee’s full name. First names or initials

would be appropriate.

Health & Safety Guidelines

Physical contact:

Personal Safety:

❚ Follow the Breakthrough Lone Working policy at

all times.

❚ Ensure you have a fully charged mobile with you

during your sessions.

❚ Do not give the young person your home

telephone number and use the prefix 141 when

calling from home.

❚ When choosing a venue for your meeting,

wherever possible choose a public place where

other adults are on hand.

❚ When transporting your mentee in your car:

❚ You must be insured for business use. Please

check with your insurance company

❚ Your car must be roadworthy

❚ All mentees must wear a seat belt

❚ Do not accept/put up with any kind of violence/

harassment from your mentee. If such incidents

occur or you feel they are likely to occur, please

contact your co-ordinator who will support you

in dealing with this.

❚ Any accidents or incidents should be recorded

immediately on an incident form and sent to

your co-ordinator.

Guidelines around physical contact are

very important because of the danger of

misinterpretation and unwelcome contact

to the young person. Physical punishment is

obviously outlawed as is sexual contact. This

includes sexual remarks and innuendo. It is

also not advisable to use bad language.

When considering the issues of physical contact

bear in mind these points:

❚ Is the contact appropriate for the age of the

young person?

❚ Is it consistent with what a good parent/carer

would do?

❚ How will the young person perceive the contact?

❚ Are the young person’s needs and wishes being

considered first and foremost in the contact?

(Taken from Good Care Matters: Department of Health, Crown Copyright 1996)

Please Note:

If you are in any doubt about whether a session

is suitable for your mentee, then it probably

isn’t! Here are some sessions to be wary of:

1) Anything using toxic substances

2) Anything using knives

3) Anything using boiling water

4) Anything in extreme weather conditions

5) Anything you don’t feel qualified to oversee

6) Anything in a venue you don’t feel confident in

7) Anything that brings you into direct contact with


8) Any session when you are unsure about the state

of the mentee’s mind

If you are in doubt don’t do it, even if you have

arrived at the venue and your mentee is excited. If

you want a second opinion, ask your co-ordinator.

Lone Working Policy

1. Each mentor will supply Breakthrough with the

name and contact number of a designated

buddy, and will supply their buddy with the

Breakthrough team’s contact numbers, particularly

identifying their Breakthrough Co-ordinator.

The mentor will inform their buddy of the details of

their session, ie mentee’s name, start and end time

of session, location.

2. The Breakthrough team will have access to each

mentor’s contact details, their buddy’s contact

details and their mentees’ contact details.

3. For each session:

On completion of the session, the mentor will

contact their buddy and inform them that they

have finished the session.

IF the buddy does not hear from the mentor at the designated time the following procedure should

be followed:

Buddy to contact the mentor Everything is OK NO FURTHER ACTION REQUIRED

No reply

Contact Breakthrough Co-ordinator (or a member of the Breakthrough team)

The Breakthrough Co-ordinator will try to

contact the mentor

Everything is OK


No reply

Contact the mentee (or their family)

The Breakthrough Co-ordinator will try to

contact the mentee

Everything is OK


Still concerns over the mentor’s safety or wellbeing

Breakthrough will contact the appropriate authorities

and inform the buddy of what is happening

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