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1. Job summary
JOB TITLE: Educational Mentoring Coordinator
REPORTS TO: Head of Educational Mentoring
STAFF RESPONSIBILITY: Responsible for volunteer mentors
HOURS: Part time – 3 days per week
SALARY: £24,000 pro rata
CONTRACT: 1 year contract with initial 3 month probation, renewal subject to funding
LOCATION: London (head office in Willesden Junction)
2. About RSN
At Refugee Support Network we are working towards a world where all young people displaced by conflict or crisis are able to build more hopeful futures. We do this by supporting young refugees and asylum seekers to access, remain and progress in education.
Currently, over 500 young people each year benefit from our core programmes:
Educational mentoring: we recruit and train community volunteers to provide bespoke 1:1 educational mentoring to young people in their area. We currently deliver this through educational mentoring hubs across London, Oxford, Birmingham and the East of England.
Access to higher education: we offer – through a national helpline and face-to-face sessions – advice and support for young people who have the academic potential to attend university but who face challenges in doing so because of practical and immigration status-related barriers.
Specialist education and wellbeing support: we provide personalised advice, guidance and psychosocial support to young people who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) or facing significant barriers to educational progression.
Alongside our direct work with young people, we undertake research and consultancy and provide training, ensuring that the voices of young refugees and asylum seekers are heard by the policy- and decision-makers who affect their lives. Our new strategy has also introduced an innovation stream, enabling us to remain responsive and creative in the face of emerging needs among the young people we exist to serve.
RSN is led by our founder and Chief Executive, who, assisted by our senior leadership team, provides leadership and direction to our growing staff of 24. Our well-qualified, dynamic and thoughtful team has a wealth of experience in the refugee, education, youth, international development and humanitarian sectors, and is supported in the delivery of our programmes by over 150 volunteers. Our work is overseen and scrutinised by an active and engaged board of trustees who meet on a quarterly basis. We receive regular additional input and expertise from our Youth Advisory Board, and, when we need specialist guidance, from our team of expert advisors.
RSN was founded in 2009 by members of a church in north west London with widespread experience working in the refugee and international development sectors as well as a desire to see the most vulnerable in their community cared for and supported. Since then, we have sought to outwork our Christian ethos at every level of RSN - in our governance, values, strategy, staff care and direct work with young people - and we continue, nearly ten years on, to respect faith, culture and the role of these in our lives and the lives of the young people we work with and seek to serve.
3. Job mission and description
The mentoring coordinator’s mission is to run a successful mentoring programme in one of our London mentoring hubs.
A key component of this work is building and maintaining relationships with partner organisations, including both those that refer young people to RSN and other specialist support services that RSN can refer young people onto. The mentoring coordinator will recruit, train and support volunteer mentors, and conduct initial assessments with unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee young people referred to the project. They will be responsible for matching young people with mentors and supporting the mentoring pairs, maintaining the project database and monitoring the effectiveness of the project.
The post holder will be skilled at building relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders including vulnerable young people, teachers and social workers and will be able to represent RSN with external partners. They will enjoy working as part of a small and dynamic team, but will need to be a confident independent decision maker and able to run their mentoring hub on a day to day basis in London. The post holder will need to be a good administrator: to maintain accurate records and monitor the outcomes of the mentoring relationships, dealing with any concerns in a timely and constructive manner. This role will be based in London (our head office is at Willesden Junction) and will require travel around the city. The role may require attendance at trainings and meetings in the early evening.
The mentoring coordinator will be required to deliver the following outcomes:
Outcome 1: The mentoring hub receives a minimum of 30 appropriate referrals of unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee young people interested in educational mentoring.
Maintain and develop strong relationships with existing referral partners and develop relationships with new referral partners
Ensure that referral partners are kept up to date with information about the mentoring scheme, are supported to make referrals on an ongoing basis, and any problems are dealt with swiftly
Liaise with college tutors and other education providers to keep up to date on educational opportunities available for young people on the mentoring scheme
Produce end of year reports for referring organisations at the end of each academic year to demonstrate the progress and activities of the young people referred from their institution that year
Represent RSN at local stakeholder meetings
Outcome 2: The mentoring programme has a minimum of 30 high quality, trained volunteer educational mentors so all assessed asylum seeking and refugee young people can receive mentoring support.
Identify potential sources of volunteer mentors such as community and faith groups and develop relationships with these groups to facilitate a sufficient number of volunteers onto the programme.
Process all incoming volunteer mentor enquiries and applications, take up external references, arrange interviews and undertake child protection checks for all candidates
Coordinate, organise and lead mentor training sessions for successful mentor applicants
Coordinate and organise our mentor development programme, ensuring that current mentors are receiving additional relevant training and input from RSN, as well as social events
Outcome 3: A minimum of 80% of unaccompanied asylum-seeking and refugee young people on the programme meet their educational goals and have a positive mentoring experience.
Process all incoming referrals of young people, and carry out initial assessments with young people
Ensure all mentors use the online feedback form on a weekly basis, monitor incoming feedback and identify areas where support is needed, responding as appropriate, and referring serious issues to the programmes manager
Initiate contact with all mentors on a regular basis to ensure that they feel well supported and have the opportunity to raise any broader concerns or questions
Maintain regular contact with all young people being mentored, ensuring their expectations are being met and that they have opportunities to raise any concerns or challenges they are facing (providing follow-up support where necessary)
At all times ensure compliance with our safeguarding responsibility
Outcome 4: All records of mentors and mentees are kept up-to-date, ensuring that information about our work with the young people can be accessed quickly, both for safeguarding purposes and for monitoring and evaluation.
Ensure the project database is kept up to date at all times with mentor, mentee and referral partner details
Ensure contact logs are maintained for each young person and that educational placements and progress are recorded
Conduct 6-monthly face to face reviews with all mentor pairs, and analyse data as appropriate
Conduct end of year reviews with all referral partners to monitor the young person’s educational progress
Outcome 5: The mentoring programmes manager receives appropriate support and information to enable the strategic growth of the mentoring hub.
Locate funding opportunities within the hub area and share with the programmes manager
Contribute to other projects as appropriate e.g. contribution to communications, policy and research etc
Any other reasonable task requested by the programme's manager or the Chief Executive
4. Person specification
In order to achieve this role’s mission and deliver the above outcomes, candidates must demonstrate the following competencies (evidenced by the listed behaviours):
Competency 1: Work with young people
Can display a track record of working with vulnerable young people from a variety of backgrounds, evidencing an ability to sensitively explore and understand a young person’s needs, and provide appropriate support, helping them to build resilience.
Deals promptly and calmly with safeguarding concerns as they arise and follows RSN’s child protection and safeguarding processes accurately.
Competency 2: Work with volunteers and external agencies
Communicates professionally, promptly and warmly with volunteer mentors and partner organisations, including schools, colleges and social services. Able to ask appropriate questions to elicit information to make informed decisions, and explain information succinctly and compellingly.
Is able to engage an audience when delivering volunteer training - communicates accurately, clearly, demonstrating technical expertise and passion for the issues.
Competency 3: Written and verbal communication skills
Can display excellent verbal communication skills with a range of audiences - from those with very little English to senior staff within referring organisations.
Writes clearly, accurately and appropriately for a range of audiences.
Competency 4: Knowledge
Demonstrates a strong understanding of the refugee/education/youth sectors in which RSN operates, and proactively seeks to develop and maintain technical knowledge in these areas.
Competency 5: Personal working style
Works well independently and is confident to take decisions on their own whilst recognising situations where it is appropriate to discuss with their line manager or the wider team
Prioritises actions appropriately when juggling competing deadlines.
Maintains stable performance when under heavy pressure or stress, demonstrating strong willingness and internal motivation to work hard and get the job done.
Takes the initiative to reflect critically on their own performance and develop improvement strategies.
Competency 6: Team working
Contributes to a positive working environment by taking time to build relationships with everyone they engage with through this role, being helpful, kind and sensitive to their needs.
Has sufficient IT knowledge to work effectively on the RSN team. Eg: able to use, or quickly pick up, google drive, whatsapp, google hangouts, CiviCRM
Participates actively in group supervisions and team meetings
Competency 7: Self-care
Has developed and practices effective self-care to avoid burnout, including the ability to maintain appropriate boundaries in order to keep workload at a sustainable level.
Competency 8: Ethos
Is passionate about RSN’s vision enabling young refugees to build more hopeful futures through education. Is inspired by the possibility of positive change and committed to nurturing hope within their sphere of influence.
Motivated by personal core beliefs (whether Christian or not) and values being part of an organisation which is founded on, and seeking to outwork, the Christian faith.
5. Equal opportunities
RSN is committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment. Any job applicants will, except in circumstances justifying different treatment that are not unlawful (for example to comply with an occupational requirement), receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (Protected Characteristics).
6. Application process
You must have a visa that allows you to work in the UK for the duration of this contract to apply for this job.
To apply, please submit your CV and cover letter through Charity Job by 18th August. Interviews are likely to take place the week beginning 2nd September.
In the covering letter (maximum 2 pages of A4) please demonstrate how you meet the competencies of this post as articulated in the above person specification and explain why you would like to work with Refugee Support Network.
Disclosure of a Criminal Record
The Rehabilitation of Offenders 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 1986 does not apply to posts where there is access to children. This means that applicants for employment which involves working with children and young people must disclose any criminal record. If your application is successful, you are required to make these disclosures and consent to Refugee Support Network verifying the accuracy of your response with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). References will be taken up and a DBS check carried out for the successful candidates, but as part of our safer recruitment policy all shortlisted candidates are required to complete a Self Disclosure form before interviews.