DAY1...Focusing on 'hard' outcomes

DAY1 is aimed at those young people between the ages of 14 –17 who, with limited opportunity and support, would benefit from having an older person to befriend them and encourage them to discover their potential.

There are obvious benefits in being mentored towards a more positive future and the DAY1 programme has been discussed and reviewed by a number of established organisations already working with young people.

These include the Highland Council, Scottish Mentoring Network, Laidlaw foundation, Scottish Entrepreneurial Exchange, the Schools and the Prince’s Trust who themselves consider the program “to be a well targeted and worthwhile addition to aid the development of youth in the Highlands.”

Apart from the Princes’ Trust, local schools’ and the other endorsements of the need for the DAY1 service there are also government statistics and cost assessments which lie behind DAY1’s desire to act.

14% of 16-19 year olds in Scotland are classed as NEET (Not in Education Employment or Training). There are two costs to this. The first is the personal and social cost to the individual who, if NEET between 16-19, is most likely to suffer educational underachievement, unemployment, inactivity, poor physical and mental health, substance abuse and homelessness. The second cost is that to the taxpayer, which is estimated at a lifetime cost of £50,000 per NEET.

The majority of the costs are incurred because of underemployment and unemployment. In the main, these are due to educational underachievement, which in turn is likely due to a need for more care, guidance, discipline and mentoring during the young person’s educational period.

The DAY1 program is inexpensive in comparison to such costs and we therefore have the potential not only to change the lives of individuals but also to make a contribution to the wider community as well.

DAY1 will measure success against its ability to create several of the following attributes or achievements for the young people at the end of their mentoring process:

To be in education or employment or to
be training towards employment.
Growing self confidence and self belief.
New interests and lasting direction.
Respect for others
Noticeable change in attitude towards those they come into contact with (i.e. school, parents).

Subject to the young person’s age, one of the key measures of success is career direction. The DAY1 Award will be a success if the candidate finds the job that he or she enjoys.

If the job in question first requires further education then success will be measured against the young person completing a suitable course and in them demonstrating a noticeable change in their attitude and involvement in working towards a positive future.

Ultimately the schools, parents and the participants themselves will tell us whether or not they think that DAY1 is a worthwhile endeavour.

Results are shared with our key partners: head teachers, teachers, parents, participating employers and major sponsors. We shall monitor and evaluate progress with them and adapt the processes of DAY1 to ensure continual improvement as required.

DAY1 is already accredited as a Nationally Approved Provider of a quality mentoring service by the Scottish Mentoring Network and the UK Mentoring & Befriending Foundation. This quality standard is supported by the Scottish Government Department for Education and Skills. Full details can be provided on request.

In addition, DAY1 was recently evaluated by Evaluation Scotland for the Laidlaw Youth Trust and final comments from the Evaluator’s report were:

Mark Bitel, Partners in Evaluation Scotland, 2009

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