It started when we did our survey just after the launch of the Sophia Network a couple of years ago. We asked what were the key issues facing women in youth work, and the answer came back loud and clear that many of you were looking for mentors - people further ahead on the journey who could offer wisdom, provide support and help you develop. In 2009 we did ten mentoring training events in partnership with CPAS for women and men and had overwhelmingly positive feedback. Some mentoring relationships started at those events, others have developed since; some people have found it's brought a new depth to their youth work, others have got their whole church active on the issue. It feels like this emphasis has struck a chord, and people are hungry for the depth of relationship, support, challenge and growth that good mentoring can bring.
So in 2010, Sophia and CPAS are joining with Urban Saints to put on 16 more mentoring training events around the UK. We've added in more of an emphasis on working with children and young people, but the aim of the events is the same, to enable you to find a mentor and to be a mentor to others. All the dates and locations are now on our mentoring training page, and you can download a flyer with all the information on it. We'll be visiting Maidstone, Nottingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Chichester, Colwyn Bay, Bristol, Lymm, Bridgend, Kendal, Tees Valley, Cranleigh, Plymouth, Bury St Edmunds and Belfast. Our first event in 2010 is on Saturday 16 January in Luton at St Hugh's Church, and you can buy tickets here.
So check out which venue is closest to you, put the date in your diary and plan to bring lots of people along!