The Island's Plan of Action
Due to the ongoing pandemic, we're offering more support to Island families who are struggling to remain positive during this unsettling time. Below you will find a list of ways in which we are supporting our Island families. If you wish to donate towards our work then please click here.
What are we doing to support Island families?
We are currently supporting the existing cohort of young people in various ways. This includes all young people who have been through the assessment process and remain on our waiting list, in groups or accessing one-to-one mentoring. This is open to 165 families and young people in the City of York and we are doing this through:
Regular food hampers
All of The Island families are contacted on a fortnightly basis to see how they are doing and if they require a hamper of hope to be delivered. This service will continue over the summer holidays to the most vulnerable of Island families.
Activity and resource packs
All of The Island families are contacted regularly to see how their children are doing and to see if an activity and resource pack is needed to keep them busy during this unsettling time.
Support, guidance and signposting
We are currently operating a 24/7 phone line where our Island families can get in touch for some additional support if they require it.
The Island quiz night
We are offering a weekly quiz night through Zoom for Island families to get involved in. The quiz nights are a great way for them to further develop their relationships with their families as well as get the opportunity to meet other families virtually.
Each week, we send out a newsletter to all of The Island families which provides them with a wide range of information, guidance, support and home activities that they can do at home.
Virtual and penpal mentoring
Our temporary virtual and penpal mentoring service has been a huge success and has enabled our mentors to stay in touch with their mentees during this difficult time.
Regular family check-ins
We are committed to ensuring that our Island families remain happy and resilience during this unsettling time. We remain in regular contact with all of our families via phone/video calls and text which have provided parents and carers with much-needed advice to ensure the whole family remains positive during COVID-19.
What's next and important dates?
As a small independent charity, we are currently working on our plans for safe working practice and undertaking extensive consultation with our volunteers.
Our plans going forward include:
Bubble summer holiday groups
We will be offering some group sessions throughout 2020 in line with the current guidelines. We will take a maximum of 6 young people per group and this will only be open to existing Island families only. Places will be allocated by The Island staff team supported by correspondence and feedback from the families.
Ongoing virtual training for new volunteer mentors
We envisage that there will be a high demand for our services once the referral process reopens. With this in mind, we are currently recruiting and training new volunteer mentors so that we can reduce our waiting list numbers significantly. Anyone wishing to volunteer with us should visit our website to download an application form.
Re-engagement of existing one-to-one mentoring relationships
We hope by early 2021 to reintroduce existing mentoring relationships, however, this is currently being monitored daily to ensure things can move forward safely.
Contact with pending referrals
By December, we hope to start accessing and pairing up mentors with their mentees.
Reopening of new referrals
We are hoping to reopen our mentoring services to new referrals by spring 2021, however, this will be completely dependent on how the situation is going with the ongoing pandemic.
New assessments, matching and home visits to commence taking place
We hope by spring, we will be able to start assessing children and matching them up with a suitable mentor.
Group based mentoring
We are unable to give a date on when our group based mentoring sessions will resume. We will continue to follow government guideline and will reopen all of our services once it is safe to do so.
All of the above is subject to the continued progression and lifting of restrictions concerning COVID-19. If at any point The Island does not feel it is safe or practical to implement any of the above they will review service delivery as required in the best interests of all parties and their safety and wellbeing.
If you have any questions about any of the above then please get in touch. Alternatively, if you would like to donate towards our work then please click on the donate button.
Update on our May Mentoring Training Sessions
Due to COVID-19, we are taking our May mentoring training workshops online to ensure that we keep ourselves and our new volunteer mentors safe during this unsettling time.
The mentoring training programme will take place through several e-learning modules and will teach you the vital skills required in order to enhance the confidence, self-esteem and resilience levels of a vulnerable child or young person living in York.
Once you have completed your online training, you will be contacted via telephone by our Mentoring Recruitment Officer who will go through the mentoring roles with you.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we're expecting to receive a high volume of referrals for our one-to-one mentoring programme ( a 12-month commitment) once we reopen our services. We would urge anyone wishing to volunteer with us to strongly consider joining our one-to-one mentoring programme. The programme is flexible and with your support, we can ensure that we can help vulnerable children and young people to thrive, sooner rather than later.
We have alternative volunteer mentoring roles in a school and group-based capacity ( a 20-week and 6-month commitment), however, we desperately need more volunteers to join our one-to-one mentoring programme (12-month commitment).
Once you become a mentor with us, you will be able to take advantage of our fully-funded qualifications and we'll finance your Enhanced DBS Check.
If you would like to join us for our May volunteer training which will be done via a series of e-learning modules, then please visit the Make a Difference section on our website (www.theislandyork.org) to download an application form and email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing and receiving your completed application soon.
How your donations are used
If you would like to make a donation to The Island to support our ongoing work with young people, you can do so, safely and securely via Work For Good:
£15 would enable an isolated child to access a positive recreational activity with the support of a fully-trained mentor.
£30 would help two young people living in poverty to afford to go places with their mentors: helping fuel their imagination and explore their potential.
£110 would cover the cost of putting ten adult volunteer through a two-session training programme to learn the important skills and personal attributes needed to be a mentor.
£120 would finance enhanced DBS checks on ten prospective mentors to ensure the safety and well-being of a child or young person.
£720 would fund weekly mentoring activities for a vulnerable child or young person for a year.
£2,200 would cover the cost of providing weekly mentor support to a vulnerable young person for a whole year, which includes: activity and travel expenses; mentor recruitment; training and supervision; and essential staff time.