Phone 020 8661 5900

maps@vcsutton.org.uk

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Local Heroes Wanted To Mentor Young People In Need

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Listen to our amazing volunteer mentor Stella & why she got involved with MAPS

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Billy’s Story – Mentoring

Billy hadn’t been to school for over 2 years due to massive levels of anxiety.

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Billy, a young carer was 15 when MAPS met with him. At this point he hadn’t been to school for over 2 years due to massive levels of anxiety. He worried about leaving the family member he cared for and struggled with his own self esteem. Billy had become overweight due to poor diet because of financial constraints and the fact that he had to cook for himself. His anxiety meant that he lost contact with many of his friends, this impacted the problem further and he become more isolated. The only solace Billy could find was in gaming.

Gaming gave him the time and space away from his responsibilities, in an environment where he felt safe and was on hand to help as needed. Online gaming increased his confidence as he was very good at it and made lots of friends online.

MAPS matched Billy with a mentor that was also interested in online gaming and there was an instant connection around all things tech. With the support of his mentor Billy decided that he wanted to get fit, so MAPS supported him and his mentor to access various sports and activities. Over the 12 months Billy lost 2 ½ stone!

Since the mentoring finished Billy’s life is very different, he is more confident, he feels better about himself and now its not only because he is great at gaming! Billy now works for a public service helping other people when they are in need and still enjoys his time gaming, he has the perfect balance.

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Who Does Mentoring Support?

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Who Does Mentoring Support?

Mentoring supports children and young people aged 8-21 years who live in the London Borough of Sutton or are classed as a Sutton child. Mentoring can take place in the community or within a school setting.

MAPS support some of the most vulnerable and marginalised young people in the borough, often who have multiple and complex needs or have experienced difficulties across various facets of their lives. Difficulties that can include low self-esteem, challenging family relationships, abuse, loss and bereavement, having poor mental health, being a young carer, a looked after child or a young person transiting in to independent living, who  are struggling within school, have difficult peer relationships, experiencing bullying or are socially isolated. This list is not exhaustive; MAPS strive to support any young person in need.

If you would like to find out more or how make a referral please contact the MAPS Team at the Volunteer Centre Sutton: MAPS@vcsutton.org.uk or 020 8661 5900 and ask to speak to a member of the MAPS Team.

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Katie’s Story – Mentoring

Katie is 15 years old and has a history of self harm, she was living in a very difficult situation which involved domestic violence and controlling behaviour by her mum’s partner. The situation quickly escalated and she was terrified to go home. The very first time we met her, Katie told us about her situation, […]

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Katie is 15 years old and has a history of self harm, she was living in a very difficult situation which involved domestic violence and controlling behaviour by her mum’s partner. The situation quickly escalated and she was terrified to go home.

The very first time we met her, Katie told us about her situation, how afraid she was and how she wished she wasn’t here. We asked her what she meant by this and she told us she had thought about killing herself and had a plan to do it.

Thankfully, because of her bravery in sharing her situation, MAPS were able to support her and get her the additional help she needed.

It has been a long road but I am pleased to say there was a positive outcome, both her and her mum were moved to a place of safety, she passed her GCSE’s and enrolled in college. Katie is now enjoying life; she has made new friends, has developed a social life and is looking forward to her future, something that 6 months ago she didn’t think she had.

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Be who your mentor be.

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Are you a good listener? Want to have some fun and make a positive change?

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Making an Advocacy Referral

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Making an Advocacy Referral

Referrals can be made  by calling the Volunteer Centre Sutton and asking to speak to a member of the advocacy team on 020 8661 5900 or by emailing advocacy@vcsutton.org.uk 

 

 

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Angela’s Story – Advocacy

Angela was afraid to go home, she didn’t want to be scared anymore….

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When Angela was referred to MAPS for child protection advocacy support, she was a 15 year old with a history of self-harm, and was living in a very difficult situation which involved domestic violence and controlling behavior by her mum’s partner. The situation very quickly escalated and she was terrified to go home and be left in the house alone with him.

The very first time we met her she told us her situation and how afraid she was, explaining that she couldn’t see a future. She desperately wanted to move away and start a new life with just her mum. She didn’t want to be afraid any more.

Angela’s advocate represented her wishes and concerns at conference. Thankfully, by being brave enough to tell us her story, MAPS were able to support her along with other professionals to get the help that both she and her mum needed.

It has been a long road but everyone involved was pleased to say there was a positive outcome. Both Angela and her mum were moved to a place of safety and now have their own home and have started a new life.

She remained in school and took her GCSE’s. Despite how difficult this last year has been for her, she now sees a future for herself.

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What is Mentoring and what does being a Mentor involve?

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What is Mentoring and what does being a Mentor involve?

MAPS is an early intervention programme supporting young people with complex life circumstances to achieve their full potential through the support of a one to one volunteer mentor.

What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a positive relationship where a volunteer mentor (adult) meets with a mentee (young person) once a week for a year. It’s an opportunity for the mentee to talk about issues that may be affecting them, receive support and guidance, learn new skills, try new activities and have some fun. Mentoring can help young people connect with their community, improve confidence and raise aspirations enabling them to achieve their full potential.

What is a Mentor?
Mentors come from all walks of life , they are handpicked to match their mentee, depending on individual skills and interests, providing support and guidance and acting as a positive role model. All mentors have a DBS check, are interviewed and receive training.

Who is a Mentee?
A mentee is a young person needing additional support in their life such as building confidence, raising self-esteem or encouraging achievement. Mentees are aged 8-21 years and live in the London Borough of Sutton.

To find out more about how to become a mentor and what’s involved contact the MAPS team on 020 8661 5900 or email us on maps@vcsutton.org.uk

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Who Funds Us?

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Who Funds Us?

MAPS has the privilege of being funded by a number or sources that include….. hi_big_e_min_blue

LBS

 

GamesAid

BBC Children In Need

 

RBI

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How do I become a Mentor?

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How do I become a Mentor?

If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, please input your name and email address below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Your Name (required)

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Reed Business Information (RBI) is serious about corporate responsibility. So serious in fact that they have a global community programme with specialist champions worldwide that supports employee volunteering and giving to make a positive impact on society. Thanks to the efforts of RBI based in Sutton, MAPS have been awarded a generous donation that is […]

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Meet Tracey Osborn

Mentoring and Advocacy Development Manager

Meet Tracey Osborn

Mentoring and Advocacy Development Manager


tracey

Hi everyone, I’m Tracey Osborn the new Mentoring and Advocacy Development manager here at VCS. I am really looking forward to working with the team here to continue and develop the fantastic mentoring and advocacy work they do in the community with volunteers, children and young people, families and partners.

My background is in Youth Work, having started back in 2001 as a Youth Worker with Surrey County Council. I had a passion for working with the most vulnerable young people and was a lead worker in a pupil referral unit as well as delivering detached youth work and targeted group work in schools. I have had a varied career and in 2008 joined the voluntary sector managing the National Youth Volunteering project ‘Vinvolved’ here in South London at VCS. That’s when I got to learn about the amazing work MAPS was doing. I moved back to working in Surrey in the voluntary sector in 2010 and I have always thought about how great it would be to come back and work with the team. So, 8 years and many varied projects later, I was privileged to be offered this role and I have had a fantastic welcome to the fantastic team here.

I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the coming months.

 

Di Gilmore

Meet Di Gilmore

Mentoring Coordinator Inclusion

Meet Di Gilmore

Mentoring Coordinator Inclusion


Why MAPS?

Initially because I wanted to carry on working with young people but establish a different work/life balance, but have got so much more than that – love the variety of the role and the friendly working environment.

What is your favourite thing? Why?

My favourite thing is my onesie (but not in the summer months J). I love a box set (you can see a theme emerging here). Love getting out and about in the countryside and my favourite place to do this is the Lake District. My favourite people (most of the time!) are my two little boys.

Who Does Advocacy Support?

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Who Does Advocacy Support?

An Advocate is an independent adult who will help a young person to have their opinions and views heard by the people that make decisions about them, and help a young person understand their rights.

Volunteer Centre Sutton’s MAPS project, is an independent youth provider of  advocacy services for looked after children, care leavers, and children engaged with child protection proceedings that are aged 8 years and older.

Advocacy is:
*Led by young people
*A confidential service
*Supporting young people to have their voice heard at conference or meetings where decisions are made about them
*Enabling young people to work towards solutions to issues

If you need an Advocate or want to make a referral contact the Volunteer Centre Sutton: advocacy@vcsutton.org.uk or 020 8661 5900 and ask for the MAPS Advocacy Team.

 

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Teresa Martucci

Meet Teresa Martucci

LAC & Leaving Care Mentoring Coordinator & Advocate

Meet Teresa Martucci

LAC & Leaving Care Mentoring Coordinator & Advocate


Why MAPS?

I wanted to work for MAPS because I wanted to work with the care leavers – help them on their way to independent living. When I left care I went to live in bedsit ally (16yrs old) I was just lucky that some of my neighbours there ‘mentored’ me & helped me see the other neighbours should be given a wide birth. Care leavers find it really hard moving on into independent living – yet another move, but this time you are on your own, I wanted to help these young people have a brighter start & I hoped that one day they would come back & mentor their younger LAC peers.

My Favourite Person? Why?

My favourite person is most definitely my grandaughter (not just because she is adorable) but because my children have survived my crazy parenting & seem to be pretty ‘normal’ people ( as a looked after child you hear so many times via different media that your children will also be looked after by the local authority- that yet again you will fail). My favourite place is called Castle Park in Colchester (this was my childhood playground & later became my home when I lived rough) my favourite thing is my bed – its warm & safe there.

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MAPS is not only an award winner as a project but in 2016 we were proud to announce that our very own Teresa Martucci and awesome team member was nominated for and won a Sutton Community Award in the Improving Lives category. Teresa was recognised for her substantial efforts in supporting children and young people […]

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Aaron’s Story – Mentoring

Aaron is 16 years old and has suffered from crippling anxiety and panic attacks for many years.

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Aaron is 16 years old and has suffered from crippling anxiety and panic attacks for many years. He became afraid of leaving the house and struggled to cope with the demands of school life. He found it hard to make friends and maintain relationships so he spent much of his time on his own. He used Gaming as an escape tool, a place to fit in and become someone that could engage with the outside world from the safety of his bedroom.

MAPS provided Aaron with a mentor, someone to do something with – with no pressure, someone to talk to and encourage him. As the year went on Aaron became more confident, he was able to go out and about in his local area and began accessing group activities, he started to be able to bring the “online confidence” into his regular everyday situations.

The mentor commented that even his physical appearance had changed, rather than hanging his head, avoiding eye contact he can now sit up straight and is able to talk to someone looking them in the eye, something that a few short months ago would have caused him extreme panic.

Mentoring helped bring the self esteem that Aaron found only in gaming into other areas of his life.

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Melissa’s Story – Mentoring

Melissa self harmed and felt negative about herself, she had experienced neglect and witnessed domestic violence regularly which was terrifying.

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Melissa was a 16 year old girl who self harmed and felt negative about herself. Her home life was extremely difficult; she had experienced neglect and witnessed domestic violence regularly which was terrifying.

She coped by gaming and getting lost in a fantasy world. Despite her difficult situation Melissa has a great attitude towards life and wanted to channel the negativity of her situation into something she loved. With the help of MAPS, Melissa was given a mentor who she could talk to, someone who could take her out of the house and do something fun and safe with. Melissa’s mentor supported her to access mental health support which helped her to manage her self-harming.

Melissa wants to be a game designer, with the help of her mentor she found a course in college that would support her with her dream; she has enrolled and is now looking forward to starting in September. Even though her home situation is still difficult, the way Melissa copes and her outlook on life has changed for the better, she has a bright future ahead of her and is looking forward to realising her dream.

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Privicy Statement

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Lilly’s Story – Mentoring

Lilly has been the victim of bullying at school which left her self-esteem and confidence at a very low point.

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Lilly connects with the world through her phone. Social media is her life. Lilly has been the victim of bullying at school which left her self-esteem and confidence at a very low point. But as Lilly spends her time away from school on social media, getting away from the bulling is even harder. This caused her to become increasingly socially isolated, as school was somewhere where she would have to see the people saying the nasty things online.

MAPS provided a mentor for Lilly. Together they enjoyed going for hot chocolates, shopping, getting their nails done and also their love of social media. MAPS matches young people in need with a mentor that they will identify and engage with. Because of this Lilly’s confidence grew and her identity became less about what people said about her and more about how she felt about herself. MAPS supported Lilly to tackle the bullying with her school which made a big difference to her and led to school being a happier place.

With her new found confidence, Lilly decided to set up an Instagram fan page for her favourite artist and now has over 5000 followers. This gives her a social outlet, gives her control over the topic of conversation and boosts her confidence even more. Having this success online and a shared interest with people at school has changed the way other people see her but more importantly how she sees herself.

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Hopefully you will have heard of GamesAid, the UK’s video games charity. If not, please take a look because you can become members for free. GamesAid have funded us at MAPS, helping us to change children’s lives for the better, for several years. We would really love to tell you a bit more about MAPS, […]

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Shannon & Bernie

With the support of her mentor Shannon has achieved so much

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Case Study

With the support of her mentor Shannon has achieved so much

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The Facts 2016 – 2017

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The Facts 2016 – 2017

Enjoy this snap shot of what MAPS has been up to this year.

2016 - 2017 MAPS Inforgraphic

 

 

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2017 Volunteer Mentor Training Dates

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2017 Volunteer Mentor Training Dates

MAPS train volunteer’s four times a year

Friday  03rd February 2017 All Day
Saturday 04th February 2017 All Day

Friday 05th May 2017 All Day
Saturday 06th May 2017 All Day

Friday  07th July 2017 All Day
Saturday 08th July 2017 All Day

Friday 06th October 2017 All Day
Saturday 07th October 2017 All Day

If you are interested in attending new mentor training please contact the MAPS team either using the ‘Contact Me’ form on the website, emailing MAPS@vcsutton.org.uk or calling a member of the MAPS team on 020 8661 5900.

 

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Bernie Rowe

Meet Bernie Rowe

MAPS Deputy Manager, Inclusion Mentoring Coordinator & Child Protection Advocate

Meet Bernie Rowe

MAPS Deputy Manager, Inclusion Mentoring Coordinator & Child Protection Advocate


Why MAPS?

I became a volunteer mentor first and fell in love with MAPS and VCS, when a coordinators role came up a couple of years later I decided to apply and have been here for more than 10 years now. I feel blessed to work with such wonderful colleagues, volunteers and young people and I can’t believe how much I still enjoy my role.

What is your favourite thing? Why?

My favourite things are, my family and friends, my dog, my job, my bed, being in any kind of water (bath, swimming pool, the sea) ice cream, pizza, pasta, reading, movies and last but by no means least music.

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MAPS hold the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service!

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MAPS Annual Review 2016 – 2017

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MAPS Annual Review 2016 – 2017

2016-17 has seen MAPS support even more children and young people than ever. With demand for support on the increase, the number of referrals for both mentoring and advocacy are set to rise over the coming years. Thanks to our inspirational volunteers, our dedicated staff team and of course our generous funders we continue to grow and develop the project to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the borough. MAPS Annual Review shares our story with you.

2016-2017 Image

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Child Safeguarding Sutton LSCB

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Child Safeguarding Sutton LSCB

To find out more about child safeguarding and the local procedures contact Sutton’s Local Childrens Safeguarding Board. Their role is to promote the wellbeing of children and young people.
This site is full of useful protocols and information.

www.suttonlscb.org.uk

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Louise Storey

Meet Louise Storey

MAPS Deputy Manager, Inclusion & Schools Mentoring Coordinator

Meet Louise Storey

MAPS Deputy Manager, Inclusion & Schools Mentoring Coordinator


Why MAPS?

Easy my dream job – over the last 7 years of working with MAPS I have come to the conclusion MAPS spells it out for me:
M-Marvellous people to work with from the amazing Mentees, awesome Mentors, incredible team and not to forget the VCS family
A-Astonishing results Achieved
P-Privilege and Pleasure hearing the hopes and dreams of our young people
S– Satisfaction of knowing in some small way I am a part of positive change

My Favourite thing to do is? Why?

Surround me with my beautiful family and friends, throw in a good meal and the odd glass of vino, put us all in a suitcase together and send us off to a destination with a view – There I am truly at my happiest hehe !

What Is Advocacy & What Does Being An Advocate Involve

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What Is Advocacy & What Does Being An Advocate Involve

An Advocate is an independent adult who will help a young person to have their opinions and views heard by the people that make decisions about them.

What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is a process where an independent adult supports children and young people to, have their voice heard or represent their views for them in meetings where decisions are made about them, help them to understand their rights, enable them to make a complaint if they are not happy about something and ensure their views and feelings are heard and that they are fully involved in decisions about their lives

What is an Advocate?
 An advocate is an independent person who will provide support to children and young people in the London Borough of Sutton to help them understand their rights and have their voice heard in relation to future plans that are made about them. MAPS advocates work with children & young people aged 8+ who are involved in the child protection process or who are looked after by the local authority.  All advocates have a DBS check, are interviewed and receive training.

When does Advocacy Happen?
Advocacy meetings take place Monday to Friday within office hours. Volunteer advocates would need to have some availability during these times.

To find out more about how to become an advocate and what’s involved contact the MAPS Advocacy team on 020 8661 5900 or email us at advocacy@vcsutton.org.uk

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Jackie’s Story – Advocacy

Jackie needed support to tell her story and get the help she needed.

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Jackie was 15 years old when she was referred to MAPS for advocacy support. She had experienced abuse as a child and was having a tough time at school.

Jackie told her advocate that she was keen to get some help to process her childhood experiences and that she wanted to move schools. With her advocates help, and support, Jackie attended the meeting and heard her wishes shared with the decision makers. She was delighted when all present agreed that it would be beneficial for her to moves schools. She was also offered support to help her process childhood trauma.

Subsequent conferences showed that Jackie was accessing support which she found helpful, that she was settled in a new school, was attending well and importantly had made some new friends and had positive relationships.

Jackie was delighted with the outcome and said she felt very supported by her advocate. Jackie’s mum even sent a message to the advocate to thank her for supporting her daughter. With the support of a MAPS advocate Jackie was empowered to share her thoughts and wishes and as a result have some control over her future which is now far more positive.

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