Meet the Project Coordinator

Rebecca Baker is the Project Coordinator for Starting Point and has been part of the team since 2014. Here she gives a short interview about her role, the highlights of her work, and her own interests.

What the role involves:

“Mentoring; supporting some of the mentors; administration of various areas of the project, including recruitment, databases and record-keeping, updating and implementing project policies and procedures; organising work experience placements; planning events.”

Rewards of the role:

“Seeing the young people we support take steps forward in personal growth. It’s always brilliant when they find a job or get a place on an apprenticeship or training course!”

Highlights/Best bits:

“The highlight of my time with Starting Point was when a young person that I had been supporting for 2 years, finally managed to get a job after overcoming lots of setbacks. She is still there now, more than a year later, and is doing great within the role!”

Why volunteer at Starting Point?

“Standing alongside a young person to encourage and support them in their journey can make a huge difference in helping them find a more hopeful future.”

Typical day of work:

“My day can be very varied! There are usually lots of admin tasks such as checking emails and responding to anything urgent, developing new evaluation forms, processing new volunteer applications, emailing mentors with information on job opportunities and training courses, or requesting timesheets. I may also be meeting a young person to work on their CV, or catching up with one of my mentees on the phone.”

Hobbies and interests:

“Time with family, good food with friends, visiting Cornish beaches, baking cakes, watching films.”

Introducing Calum

Good morning everybody. Or maybe you’re reading this in the afternoon or evening. No matter, this little blog won’t change depending on the time zone. I hope not anyway.

My name is Calum, with one L. Don’t get me started on two Ls.

I’m a current mentee with Starting Point and also volunteer for the project in social media and community journalism. This is an introduction to me, but don’t worry, I promise not to drag on and bore you with the details.

I was born in the 1990s and have lived in Reading my entire life. Shocking I know. As for my hobbies and interests, I like writing and reading fantasy novels, drawing cartoons/manga-like pictures, and my favourite programme currently is Doctor Who.

I won’t go into why I became a mentee or the experiences I have had being one, because that is better explained in another blog that you will find a link for down below.

My Story – Calum Harbor

Anyway, that’s my introduction over.

I hope you read my story and other blogs and enjoy what I have to say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Project Manager

Sam Lloyd is Starting Point’s Project Manager and has been at Starting Point since July 2016. Here he gives a short interview about his role, the highlights of his work, and his own interests.

What the role involves:

“In a nutshell, I oversee the running of project. This includes recruiting and training mentors, meeting and matching the young people, monitoring and supporting each mentoring match. I also manage the budget, connect with businesses and other services and strategically plan for the growth of the project. I am also a mentor to young people not yet ready to match to a volunteer.”

Rewards of the role:

“Seeing the lives of local young people transformed. What makes me love my job is knowing that we are not just supporting young people find a positive destination, but we are seeing the direction of their future change course.”

Highlights/Best bits:

The highlight is always at the end of mentoring, looking back with a young person at how far they have come and seeing them beam with pride in what they have achieved – Whatever that may be.”

Why volunteer at Starting Point?

“To come alongside someone, take a genuine interest in them, and support them as they journey through a difficult yet crucial stage in their life, is such a simple and easy thing to do. Yet it has a transforming impact.”

Typical day of work:

“Every day looks completely different as I am always meeting different people. This may be a mentor, a young person, a manager at a business, someone at school, another community group. I enjoy the excitement of each day being different and meeting people I would have never met otherwise.”

Hobbies and interests:

”I enjoy playing guitar and writing songs. I watch and play a lot of football. I have a son aged one so my favourite hobby is playing with him.”

Sam’s dream for Starting Point:

“I hope to grow Starting Point here in Reading without losing our relational approach. I also long to develop the project to a point where it can be replicated in other town across the region so that more young people can have access to a mentor who can journey with them into education, employment and training.”