EdConnect has been trialling new and innovative ways of connecting volunteers and students so that volunteering can continue regardless of the location of the student and volunteer, a lesson from COVID times.
Strong interest from both schools and volunteers led to a virtual mentoring pilot program being delivered in 2021 and 22 in Western Australia.
- Five students worked with a mentor online for a minimum of thirty minutes each week.
- The results showed that students felt the benefit of having a mentor and enjoyed the experience overall.
- Volunteers also reported positive results as they saw the students develop in confidence.
- Overall it was found that similar positive results can be achieved for schools, students and volunteers through mentoring online. Relationships are built surprisingly quickly; it was enjoyable for both mentors and students and the school could see the benefits in a variety of ways.
There are many volunteers interested in supporting this model, as it opens the door to mentoring for volunteers who do not find it easy to travel to and from school during their working day. For areas with fewer locally based volunteers, this model is a great solution.