Volunteer Mentors needed for Migrant Women’s Mentoring and Social Inclusion Project at the Arbour Centre
The Arbour is a community centre based in Stepney Green, Tower Hamlets. It is a unique place where members of the local community can feel supported, listened to and empowered. All of their diverse range of activities and programmes are designed with their service users. The Centre provides opportunities for leisure and educational activities, volunteer work, advice, counselling services and one-on-one support.
The Migrant Women’s Mentoring & Social Inclusion Project supports migrant women who have been in the UK for less than 2 years to develop their English language skills, practical life skills and confidence to become more independent and empowered.
The mentoring project aims to improve intercultural relationships on a 1:1, grassroots level between women living in Tower Hamlets. The project specifically supports the integration of newly-arrived women in UK, helping them to feel them more settled. As integration needs to be a two-way process, the project also involves the host community, ensuring they are a central part of the integration process.
We do this by recruiting and training volunteer mentors who are matched to a mentee following a careful selection process. Mentors support their mentees with their English, with accessing local services, and with learning about the local area. The project also enables both parties to learn from someone from a background different to their own. Initial meetings takes place at the Arbour, with future meetings taking place at a location that both mentee and mentor feel safe and comfortable. Partnerships last for a minimum of six months; both parties are in close contact with the project co-ordinator during this period, including attending scheduled monitoring meetings.
Mentors and mentees gain an increased understanding and knowledge of a different culture and community and existing prejudices have been broken down – and we are seeing an increasing number of women mixing with others from different backgrounds.