Appeal for mentors to help Lowestoft school children reach their full potential

Members of Waveney District Council and headteachers of schools participating in the mentoring progr

Members of Waveney District Council and headteachers of schools participating in the mentoring programme. Photo courtesy of Waveney District Council. - Credit: Archant

A mentoring programme designed to raise aspirations and instil confidence in Lowestoft pupils is seeking new volunteers from local businesses.

Waveney District Council (WDC) developed the programme in partnership with Lowestoft Rising and local high schools to provide pupils with support to improve their academic progression.

More than 100 youngsters from East Point Academy, Ormiston Denes Academy and Pakefield High School have benefited from the scheme over the last two years.

Stephen Ardley, WDC's cabinet member for communities, said: 'From feedback we have received, we know the programme is making a positive difference to the pupils.

'It's raising aspirations and confidence and helping them to reach their full potential.'

He added: 'Just a small amount of time with a positive role model can make a huge difference to the pupils and we hope that more volunteers will come forward, especially from the business community, to become mentors.'

Mr Ardley, along with headteachers from participating schools, recently signed a pledge to continue supporting the mentoring programme.

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Anthony Walker, headteacher at Pakefield High School, has spoken of the positive impact the programme has had on his pupils.

He said: 'We are proud to be part of such a dynamic mentoring programme which enables our pupils to develop a purposeful relationship with a role model who encourages them to overcome their barriers to learning.

'This positive relationship provides a foundation to ensure the young people develop effective strategies that enable them to fulfil their full potential.'

Active Community Trust are providing mentor training for all those who choose to volunteer.

More than 55 volunteers have been trained for the scheme so far, with each completing a personal profile which enables schools to effectively align the mentor with their selected pupils.

Volunteers are required to undertake a two day training course which covers essential topics.

A disclosure and barring service check, facilitated by the schools, is also necessary.

Additionally each volunteer will receive safeguarding instructions based on each school's individual policy.

For more information about becoming a mentor, or any other enquiries, please contact Richard Best on 01502 523605 or email