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Cognus Therapies Champions Young People to use their Experiences Outside of the Therapy Room to provide Mentoring Support

 Tamara Rainsley (Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for Deaf Children and Young People) identified a gap in provision for a deaf young people on her caseload. Tamara felt that the pupil was curious about their GCSEs and Post-16 options and wanted to hear about another deaf pupil’s experience. Tamara has been working closely with Overton Grange Secondary School for over five years as part of Cognus Therapies and together with the school has set up peer mentoring. Tamara has previously coordinated a pen pal for a pupil on her caseload at Overton Grange and paired her with a deaf young person who was working with a Speech and Language Therapist in Bali.

Tamara paired two pupils at Overton Grange together who both experience deafness, one in Key Stage 4 and one in Key Stage 5.

“Thank you so much, it was much more useful than I thought it would be and it was a really good experience to help me find out about sixth form and college.”

H, 2022.

“Not only does mentoring give me a benefit of putting it on my CV, it also gave me experience and I really enjoyed sharing my year 10, 11 and my current sixth form experiences with H. I also found it enjoyable to give advice about any problems H has. I would recommend mentoring for anyone who loves to give advice and help out- mentoring will be a good experience for someone who wants to have a sociable job.”

S, 2022.

H has written the following about her peer mentoring experience, set up by Tamara.

“I was asked if I wanted to participate in mentoring at school and I was then paired with S who is a sixth former at my school. Miss Rainsley and Miss McHugh (Trainee Teacher of the Deaf) organised when we would meet up with each other and we all agreed on tutor time. We had to figure out where we could meet as we weren’t sure what rooms would be available, but I found S and got started.

 I had a list of questions that I wrote with Miss Rainsley during my Speech and Language Therapy sessions beforehand. I asked S my questions and I was able to understand what she was saying and take notes.

 She gave me her most honest opinion and we felt like we could keep talking to each other. I really wanted to know more about year 10, 11 and sixth form.

 We decided to organise another date to meet. I feel the next one might be shorter, but I am curious to find out more.”

 H identified some positive things about the peer mentoring activity:

S was really honest about everything. It was nice that we were one to one, and it helped us be open with each other. She was able to answer my questions in detail. She was someone I knew before, through signing sessions and I have met her when charging our radio aids. She is also deaf, so we spoke about our experiences of deafness in school. We were talking about the hearing equipment and how the radio aids are different. We had a mini discussion about this. Overall, it was a good thing, and it made me feel much better in terms of my knowledge about GCSEs and post-16. I left the session feeling calm and understood.”

 The pupils are due to meet again and continue their mentoring experience which is now embedded into their school life.

To find out more about the Therapies team and see their Graduated Response, click here