Assisted Mentorship Programme (AMP)

The Assisted Mentorship Programme (AMP), is an innovative, trail-blazing programme that pairs young people and adults in meaningful, one-to-one, enrichment-based mentoring relationships. Designed by neurodivergent adults for young people, AMP offers a resource many of the mentors say was missing from their own lives — support for the present and hope for the future

Our Aims:

  1. To offer our young people a sense of identity and belonging, and to create an opportunity to foster connections with caring adults who can help them recognise that they are not alone; others have overcome similar challenges and they can, too.
  2. To invite neurodivergent adults to serve as role models and leaders in their community, where they will be highly valued specifically for the insights their differences bring, and to play an active role in improving life for the next generation.
  3. To support the parents or guardians of vulnerable young people, who may have difficulty picturing positive futures for them and connecting them with adults who can offer hope and guidance.
 
Our dedicated team welcomes young people over 8yrs old, who are currently unable to attend full-time education. It’s our priority that everyone feels welcome, included, heard and safe at Overworld. 

We provide care packages and personalised learning programmes for young people over 8 years old, who are currently unable to attend full-time education. We accept referrals from parent or carers, schools named on the young person’s EHCP and the young person’s local authority team.

Some young people have had several failed placements before joining us, or they cannot get a place at a special school due to lack of space or no schools can currently meet their needs. Our high staffing levels mean that we can provide a completely individualised programme and adjust it instantly to meet the needs of the young person. All mentors work 1:1 and when required we can offer two members of staff.

In line with the best practice guidance for supporting CYP with a PDA profile of autism, which we find works for all; we keep rules to a minimum:

  1. We work together to keep everyone safe from harm
  2. No one will be made, forced or coerced to do something
  3. We follow the laws of the land

     

Everything else can be negotiated and we try to say yes to whenever we can. We make sure that although we offer sessions, during normal school hours, spending time with us does not feel like school. There are:

We recognise many of the young people who come to us have been traumatised by their school experience and need to heal before they can move forward. By giving them a safe, low demand place to be their authentic self, we have found that their independence skills develop quickly, preparing them to transition back into more traditional education or onto work.

We have also found that incidents of behaviour that are challenging, seen in the young person’s previous settings, are often less of a problem or don’t occur at all. This is because the young person is in a collaborative environment, in control of their learning and can make the adjustments they need to make their environment safe for them.

Significance and support

As a society, we are only beginning to value neurodiverse points of view, to recognize the creativity, intellect, and problem-solving skills neurodivergent individuals bring to their communities. Ultimately, we hope the AMP initiative will improve the immediate lives of its mentor/mentee pairs, and play a key role in moving our society from awareness to total inclusivity for the perspectives and strengths of neurodiverse people everywhere.