Jill is the programme coordinator for the Gloucestershire Mentoring Programme (GMP)

Hi Jill


Let’s dive right in, what is your job and what do you do?

Ok. I am the programme coordinator for Gloucestershire Mentoring Programme (GMP), an early intervention support service that’s being delivered by a collaboration of seven trusted mentoring organisations, including The Door.  The Programme is open to girls and young women in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire who are considered at risk of becoming involved in the Criminal Justice System.  GMP offers free trauma-informed, person-centred mentoring opportunities.

For many of these young people, having a mentor fills a gap in their lives.  It gives them the chance to form a long-lasting realationship with a trusted adult  – someone who will meet with them regularly and support them to build resilience, grow in confidence, and make good choices.

The Programme has initial funding for two years and my role is to oversee its delivery, ensuring providers work together well, stay on track, and provide a consistent service across both counties.  I also support line managers and senior leaders to provide strategic leadership and governance for the programme.  I’m also involved in advocacy, helping to build our brand and establish our service offer longer-term.

So, have you always been involved in this kind of work?

Yes and no.  I’ve always worked in the services sector, initially as a secondary school teacher and then as a manager and senior leader in local government.  I’ve loads of experience in service development and cross-sector partnership work.  But this is the first time I’ve worked for a charity and I’m new to youth services.

The common thread of ‘making a difference to people’s lives’ – is a real driver for me.  I’m also passionate about combatting social injustice and have a strong Christian faith.  So, coordinating GMP and working for The Door ticks a few boxes for me.

And we’re so glad it does!  Now, could you take us through a typical day at work, Jill?

There isn’t one!  I mostly work from home and spend a fair bit of time in online meetings.  Once a quarter, we have an in-person Forum for all providers and their line managers, and there are other odd occasions when I get out to play!  On a day-to-day basis I’m generally overseeing the development and delivery of plans that are supporting providers to work collaboratively and achieve their goals.  I’m also the main point of contact for our funder and the Programme’s external evaluator.

So, what is your favourite part of your role?

Knowing we’re playing a not-so-small part in changing lives for the better.  I love hearing the emerging stories and anecdotes about the impact GMP is having – it’s so encouraging!

Other than this, I’m privileged to be working with a great team of delivery partners.  They’re caring, passionate and professional, and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Programme – I’m learning such a lot from this inspiring bunch!

That’s great!  Working with such a large team must come with its challenges too.

Yes. it does.  One of them is getting everyone (around twenty four of us, all told) in the same place at the same time.  In fact, just getting a small group together can turn into a marathon, what with everyone’s different commitments and working patterns, and the reality of someone having to deal with a safeguarding situation at short notice.  I often joke it’s like herding cats!

But the main challenge is recruiting and training enough volunteer mentors.  We’re continually on the lookout for more as we’ve always got young people waiting for support.

I see, how can people find out more about GMP volunteering?

Simple – visit the GMP website

Perfect!  Now, what are you looking forward to for GMP?

Discovering the difference it is making, which will become more apparent as mentor-mentee relationships grow.  And coming up with a plan that will allow us to continue the Programme longer term – we’ve already been given funding to develop this and I’m excited for us to get moving on this front.

Sounds exciting indeed.  Now a little more about you. Time for the less serious stuff.

Ok, fire away.

Firstly, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

This is a hard one.  I know what it wouldn’t be – porridge or tripe.  Can’t even bear to think of them.  Can you survive on wine?

What about sports? Do you follow any teams?

If the Six Nations is on, I’ll certainly be cheering for Scotland, my homeland.  And I tune in to support my niece, Lissey in her tennis tournaments – we’re all very proud of her.

And finally is there a Bible verse you would like to share?

“…a life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart.”  [Proverbs 12:25]

Thank you Jill!

Thank you.





Introducing Jill…

One thought on “Introducing Jill…

  • March 10, 2023 at 11:23 am

    Lovely piece from Jill


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