Supporting the younger generation

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Ross Shire Women’s Aid Male Mentoring Project aims to provide young people who have experience of living with domestic abuse with examples of positive male role models.

Living with domestic abuse can have short and long term cognitive, behavioural and emotional effects on children and young people. This can result in children having problems in school, lead to self harm and risk taking behaviour, lead to low self esteem and issues with confidence, they may internalise their feelings becoming withdrawn and isolated or externalise them by acting inappropriately.

The key objectives of the male mentoring project are to :-
• develop the self esteem and confidence of the young people
• promote positive images of males, challenging traditional ideas of masculinity
• build a foundation of knowledge regarding what a healthy relationship is and how to maintain it
• strengthen team building and cultivate leadership skills
• address any issues regarding fear of or mistrust towards males
• address issues of gender and inequality
• promote positive relationships between male and female peers
• encourage a better understanding of how they feel and how they deal with these i.e anger
• prevent violence against women and girls

The group meets once a month from 10am-2pm and works with up to 12 young people (both boys and girls) between the ages of 9 and 15. The sessions are tailored depending on the needs and abilities of those attending sessions and to deal with any issues which may have come up for some of the young people in the proceeding month. The male mentors plus our staff meet before the session to plan sessions, to ensure that they are aware of any issues and that the session provides space for key developments to be dealt with in a suitable way. We have worked with Dingwall Youth Development team to attract a number of male mentors to help our children’s workers to deliver this programme. The group activities aim to challenge gender stereotypes and to help the young people who attend to reassess their beliefs about how women and men should act and encourage them to deal with their feelings and emotions in a healthy way.

One to one mentoring sessions are provided to those who are identified as being at most need of this, it allows the mentors to build on the work carried out in the group. We also take the children and young people away for an overnight trip which allows them to develop confidence and resilience, it allows them to spend time in a relaxed environment with other who have had similar experience, those who attend are able to try activities that they might otherwise be able to.

We are applying for funding to help cove the cost of the male mentors, the hire of venues, travel and activity costs. The organisation already has funding to cover direct staff time.

Ross-shire Women's Aid

Moment of Pride

Impact it has on young peoples lives & skills it gives them to cope with life. one young person has said 'I feel like I'm alone all of the time. I feel like exploding I get so angry. I think the group is helping me with this and has given me other ways of dealing with my anger.'

Location: Dingwall