Staff at a leading care charity are creating new ways to improve the lives of young people through a peer-to-peer support service.
More than 50 care workers at Kibble have qualified as staff mentors, offering career guidance and leadership support to fellow colleagues with the aim of improving outcomes for children.
Kibble supports at risk children and young people (aged 5-26) across the UK with bases across Scotland, including Paisley. Many of the young people it supports have experienced significant trauma and Kibble offers dedicated care to help them move forward. This includes residential and community support, as well as dedicated schools and wellbeing services.
The Professional Practice Award in Mentoring is a SCQF level 7 qualification, with training delivered by the charity’s in-house Learning and Development team.
Katie McLoughlin, 27 from Lochwinnoch, joined Kibble in 2020 as a Child and Youth Care Worker and has been a mentor for four months.
Katie said: “I became a mentor as when I started, I relied on my colleagues to offer me support and guidance when starting out in a new role. I feel it is important to support our new colleagues so we can provide the best support to the young people we work with.
“It can be daunting to start any new role and I feel the mentor programme at Kibble provides the mentee with the opportunity to have on-hand support and guidance.
“Being a mentor increases your responsibilities but it is a great feeling knowing you are helping another individual grow and expand their capabilities.”
Rachel McConnell, 26 from Paisley, is a Trainee Child and Youth Care Worker and is currently being mentored by Katie.
Rachel said: “I’ve worked at kibble for five months now and they have been the best five months of my life. I feel I have finally found my passion and what and where I’m supposed to be in life. This job is so suited to me it really doesn’t feel like work.
“I’m currently doing the traineeship with Katie as my mentor and I couldn’t ask for a better mentor than her. The support and encouragement she has shown me has been amazing and the confidence that’s given me has been even better.
“I love all of the training opportunities and support kibble have to offer and cannot wait to continue on my journey.
Kibble Chief Executive, Jim Gillespie, said: “Everything we do at Kibble strives to improve the support we can offer young people.
“Whether that’s new care services, staff training or the introduction of this mentoring qualification, the ultimate aim is to improve the lives of our children and young people.
“Working to change a young person’s life is a truly fulfilling career and we’re investing in our people to feel supported and empowered to dedicate themselves to that task.
“It’s great to hear the mentor scheme is working so well, with benefits apparent for both staff and children.”
Kibble has recently been awarded Gold Status by Investors in People and won S1 Jobs’ Charity of the Year award for 2023.
The organisation is recruiting now across child and youth care roles, with day and nightshift roles available. Kibble has vacancies across Renfrewshire including Paisley and Lochwinnoch, as well as Glasgow, North Ayrshire and beyond. For more information, search careers at Kibble or go to Kibble.org to apply.
Headline photo: (left to right) Katie McLoughlin, 27 from Lochwinnoch, and Rachel McConnell, 26 from Paisley