Our vision is to see vulnerable young people in Southampton benefit from a consistent, trusted and positive Christian role model who inspires and supports them in challenging circumstances, facilitating their personal growth and development.
At Above Bar Church we fully believe that as Christians we have been blessed by God with the purpose of being a blessing to others. We are to show God’s love in word and deed to others regardless of their background, nationality or religious viewpoints. The Above Bar Church Youth Mentoring Centre is one of many expressions of this vision from the church family. Our material is based on resources by the award-winning charity XLP, which works in and around London.
XL Mentoring is their expression of youth ministry and we seek to adopt this model with their full permission and training as part of ours. This is a tried and tested model: XLM started in 2009 and has had 374 mentees, 422 mentors, 25 referring agencies and 92% reporting a positive change.
- 31% of NEET young people (of which there are 1.9 million in the UK) felt they had no one to talk to growing up. (Princes Trust Report January 2013)
- 1 in 10 young people do not feel they can cope with day to day life. (Princes Trust Report January 2013)
The purpose of XLP mentoring
XLP want to see young people with:
- A raised sense of self-worth, self-esteem and increased educational achievement, which helps them confidently and positively contribute to society.
- Fresh goals and the desire to work hard to achieve them, and who are able to make wise lifestyle choices.
- Positive attitudes and behaviours towards their communities: their families, peers, local residents, teachers and the police.
How will it work?
Our centre will recruit and train willing volunteers who are able to give up to 2 hours per week to a young person for a minimum of 12 months. We will then receive referrals of mentees from other agencies who will apply to receive mentoring. Once we have found out a bit more about them we then match a mentee and mentor and provide ongoing support and accountability while the mentoring relationship develops. After one year we then (with permission) offer a youth alpha course or equivalent to give this young person an opportunity to ask the bigger questions in life.
The Centre Coordinators
"My name is Aaron Griffin, I am the current Head of Youth Ministry at Above Bar Church. I am married, own an extremely cute cat and enjoy regularly training in Kung Fu. I am really passionate that our ABC Youth Mentoring Centre reaches those in need of help and change the lives of many in the coming years."
"My name is Gill Crouch, I’m a trained children’s nurse, currently working with those with Type 1 diabetes and also in research. I’m married with 3 grown-up sons, I love to be by the sea and I’ve recently taken up surfing. I’m so excited at the prospect of a Youth Mentoring project, with its potential for such a positive impact on those young people who take part, in our own city of Southampton."