VSO has recruited and trained the first 6 peer mentors to support young people on the International Citizen Service Programme (ICS).
Peer mentors will be returned ICS volunteers who will provide support to young people before they depart on their overseas placement. They will share their experience in order to support and advise volunteers with tasks such as fundraising, getting vaccinations, getting to their pre-placement training and with any other preparations prior to departure.
Working with sending organisation International Service, six mentors were trained in how best to provide this support to young people. Training sessions covered topics such as the responsibilities and boundaries of the role; the skills required to be an effective mentor such as active listening; and the importance of confidentiality.
Feedback established the training was a success with volunteers indicating that the training was informative and helpful. They also provided some important feedback for the development of the training which will help VSO to continue to improve the standard and content with the aim of achieving best practice.
VSO is looking forward to training the next group of mentors and putting some of this learning into place, as well as seeing the impact peer mentoring can have on the quality of support offered to young people taking part in international volunteering programmes.