The mentoring idea is going from strength to strength. The National Mentoring Network, based in Salford, recently held its sixth annual conference and has more than 280 members including schools, colleges, universities, training and enterprise councils and businesses.
The network's 15-strong steering group wants to raise the profile of mentoring nationally, produce and update a directory of contacts, establish a library of resources and a series of regional workshops.
A survey carried out by the network last year showed that more than 4, 100 pupils and students were being mentored in 425 educational establishments with nearly 4,300 adults involved. On average, meetings took place every two weeks for an hour with contacts kept up for a year.
Mentoring schemes cover a wide range of people and institutions: lone parents at Westminster College, Oxford, and young people at risk of commiting crime or truancy in Nottingham and London being supported through the crime prevention charity DIVERT are recent additions.
The National Mentoring Network, Business and Technology Centre, Green Lane, Patricroft, Eccles, M30 0RJ, telephone 0161 787 3135.