A new initiative has been launched at Pool Academy training students to help mentor others.

A group of youngsters from years seven to nine have been selected to take part in the peer mentoring programme

which encourages them to be a listening ear. It is hoped mentors will be someone students can talk to about any concerns they have – no matter how small.

Initially 11 students have taken part in a training course and are now ready to take up their role as peer mentors.

Kerry St Ledger, a governor at the school, said: “The peer mentor programme aims to provide a layer of support that is immediately accessible to pupils who may initially lack confidence to raise an issue.

“The approach is based on a model of empowerment where pupils are supported by someone they can

identify with, feel able to discuss exactly what is on their mind, and from there take good steps forward to

achieve change in their situation.”

Evie, from year nine, was one of the students selected to become a peer mentor. She said: “I really want to help people cope with issues that they initially feel they can't talk to an adult about."

Katie, also from year nine, added: “As a member of the first peer mentor group I want to train other young people to help our students, school, and grow our peer mentor team.”

Ms St Ledger added: “Mentors are given the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills relevant

to the world of work and they are supported directly by a governor who works on our readiness and engagement committee.”

Students interested in the peer mentoring programme are urged to contact Ms St Ledger by emailing kst@poolacademy.co.uk.