Sussex Adolescent Mentoring Service 


The aim of the Sussex Adolescent Mentoring Service is to provide a mentoring programme that will enable the young people taking part to develop their self-esteem and resilience to their full potential. Through this programme they will enhance their life chances and opportunities by building confidence and raising aspirations.

Key points

This project will provide site based supervised mentoring at an agreed set location. Participants will be at key stages 9, 10 and 11 and they will present with one or more of the following characteristics: Be victims of crime, bullying or harassment: Be at risk: Have low self-esteem or are unable to fit in with peer group.

The young people involved will be matched with a mentor who can help guide them in developing self esteem, Improved interpersonal skills, raised confidence, building resilience and have a clearer focus for the future.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring helps young people to make the most of their life opportunities. Some children and adolescents, through no fault of their own, need support and guidance from trusted and positive adults to help them meet the challenges of growing up.

The Mentor’s Role.

Mentors lend long term support to youngsters that will benefit from a period of stable and regular positive influence.

Through a trusted friendship, a child will be able to explore their world and potential.

Become a Mentor for SAMS

SAMS volunteer mentors are ordinary people making a positive difference in a young person’s life.

You don’t need any previous experience working with young people to become a mentor. SAMS will provide training and support throughout the mentoring programme. The basic requirements for SAMS mentors are that you are kind and friendly, accept the young person as they are and most importantly you are committed to their progress. You like to encourage the young person to find their own solutions with advice and guidance, sharing life experiences with a positive attitude and know when to listen.

The five steps to becoming a SAMS mentor.

We ask for SAMS volunteer members to be committed throughout the six-month programme. The recruitment process is rigorous to ensure the safety of the young people we support. We also assess whether this is the right volunteering opportunity at the right time for you. We look for mentors who are positive people who share their experiences and interests with the young person they mentor. SAMS volunteer mentors receive training and ongoing support throughout the programme.

1 The Application Process Once the on line application form has been completed, all successful applicants will be invited to an orientation meeting where you will be able to find out more information about the SAMS mentoring programme and the following steps of our recruitment process for you to become a mentor.


  • Please fill out the online application that requires in depth information and three references. We will confirm receipt by email and if you are successful we will invite you to book a place at one of our orientation meetings.
  • Come along to our orientation meeting to find out more about mentoring for SAMS and have the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Decide whether you would like to continue with your application to become a SAMS mentor.
  • We will carry out a two-stage interview during which you will be asked questions about your background, your relationships and where we will assess whether you are suitable to be a mentor at this time.
  • Please bring proof of identity with proof of identity with you so that we can carry out a DBS check.
  • You will be invited to a one and a half day training event for one Saturday and an evening during the week. Upon receipt of a successful DBS and references check we will confirm your acceptance as a volunteer mentor for SAMS.
  • We will then start the process of finding a young person to match you with followed by a matching event at a school, which will provide the base for the regular mentoring sessions.

2 Orientation Meeting On successful completion of the online application form you will be invited to attend one of our orientation meetings.

The orientation meeting will take two hours and is an opportunity for you to find out more about mentoring with SAMS. You will meet the director of Breaking Down Barriers and the SAMS project co-ordinator. You will hear more about the school we are working with and this will also be a chance for you to ask questions to help you decide whether to become a volunteer member with SAMS.

You will find out what good mentoring with SAMS includes, the recruitment process and whether it is right for you at the moment.

If you wish to go ahead we will contact you to arrange an interview.

Sign up.

Our next volunteer mentoring orientation meeting is: TBA
Venue: Chapter House, Southover Church, Lewes BN7 1JH. (Access through Church End, this is a house next to the church in Cockshut Road.)

3 The Two-Stage Interview After you have attended the SAMS orientation programme we will contact you to arrange two- stage interview that will last about an hour. In the interview the interviewers will ask you about your background, your core values and how you manage the challenges in your life. This is also an opportunity to clarify any additional information you wish to provide. We will also at this stage carry out the DBS and references check which takes up to three weeks.

After the interview the panel will assess whether this is the right time for you to become a mentor. If you are successful you will be invited to attend our one and half day training programme.

Choice of interview dates: TBA
Venue: Church End, Southover Church, Lewes BN7 1JH.

The interviews will be held in Church End of Southover Church. This is a house next to the church in Cockshut Road.

Directions: Southover Church is about a 5 minute walk from Lewes train station. Turn left on leaving the station and follow the road along Priory Street to Southover High Street. The Church is on the left, past the Kings Head pub on the right.

4 Training Programme SAMS volunteer mentoring training will take place over one Saturday and concludes with a two hour evening session during the following week.

During the training you will learn about:

  • The role and important skills of being a good mentor
  • Communication skills and building a positive relationship with the mentee
  • Boundaries and confidentiality within a mentoring relationship
  • Diversity and Cultural Awareness

The primary aim of the training programme is to prepare the volunteer mentors to work effectively with their mentees from a wide range of diverse and cultural backgrounds and experiences. Mentors will be made aware of the importance of their mentoring commitment and the group support and individual supervision SAMS will provide throughout the programme.

The training is interactive and participants will engage in activities such as role-play, working in pairs, small group discussions and feedback to the whole group.

You will learn more about the school we work with, the young people likely to be mentored. You will also hear first-hand the experiences of people who have mentoring experience and will be given advice on how to start your mentoring session.

The training will give you all the information and preparation you need to be confident about building a positive mentoring relationship with a young person.

On successful completion of the training program, reference and DBS checks we will contact you to welcome you as a successful SAMS volunteer mentor and match you with a young person.

Dates of training: TBA
Venue: Chapter House, Southover Church,  Lewes BN7 1JH. (Access through Church End, this is a house next to the church in Cockshut Road.)

5 Being matched Based on the recruitment process we will match you, tailored to the individual needs of the young person at school. Based on the recommendations of the partnering school and an assessment of the young person’s personality, needs and what sort of mentor they would most benefit from we will assign you accordingly. Your preferences will also be discussed and taken into account.


  • Once you have been accepted as a mentor and we have your approved CRB check and references, the project co-ordinator will work with you to identify a young person to match you with. This might involve discussing several different options.
  • Along with all your fellow volunteer mentors you will be invited to the matching event at the school where you will meet the young person you will mentor as well as all the other mentees, parents and teachers involved. You will have an opportunity to speak with the young person and if everyone is happy with how it went, you will officially be a matched as the mentor.
  • From that point you will meet the young person on a regular fortnightly basis at an agreed suitable day and time at the school for mentoring sessions. This will last for six months. This is likely to take place alongside other mentoring sessions and the project co-ordinator will always be on site.
  • After each mentoring session you will have an individual supervision in person or by phone with the project co-ordinator, who is on hand to offer guidance and support and check that things are going ok.
  • On three occasions throughout the six months period the project co-ordinator will invite the mentoring group to action learning sets to further equip your mentoring skills, exchange experiences, raise any issues, provide support and feedback for SAMS’ evaluation of the mentoring programme to enable us to continuously improve our service.

At the end of the six-months mentoring programme we will invite you to a closing event at the school and provide feedback on the six months experience. We would also like to find out at this stage whether you would like to continue mentoring with SAMS.