Building the evidence
We bring together evidence about the benefits and positive impact of mentoring and befriending as well as encouraging further research to be undertaken. We hope you will find the research helpful in supporting your funding bids and applications and to help your service develop in response to the good practice that the research has identified. We also work with researchers to bring them together with projects to support their studies in order to expand the evidence base in order to create a more comprehensive range of research.
Our Research and evaluation directory brings together in one central place, research studies, summary findings, project evaluations and reports that add to our knowledge of what works best, how and with whom. Let us know of additional research or evaluation reports that we can add to this online resource.
We also interpret this body of evidence to create research summaries that highlight key findings with particular groups of people such as refugees, young people in care, older people and offenders.
Our case study bank provides lots of evidence through the words and stories of people who have experienced the transforming nature of mentoring and befriending and have shared their personal experiences that bring the heart of mentoring and befriending to light.
You can help build the evidence base by:
- Sharing your case studies with us – download the template case study form
- Sending us your project evaluation reports
- Telling us about any research that you are involved in or have come across so that we can continue to be aware of all the evidence out there
- Start a discussion to highlight issues around research for the mentoring and befriending community.
A selection of recent research findings:
- Research from St Mungo’s clients showed that 74% of homeless people surveyed considered one-to-one support or mentoring to be a critical success factor for moving into long-term employment (Work Matters, St Mungo’s/Demos, 2010)
- Research into the effectiveness of befriending with older people was commissioned by Wiltshire County Council and found that befriending is beneficial to mental health and the practical assistance offered by volunteers in terms of access to the wider community formed a vital function in supporting service users’ desire to remain in their own homes (Befriending, loneliness and social isolation in older people, M Poole, University of Bath/Wiltshire Council, 2010)
- A prison survey found tha 65% of young offenders under the age of 25 said that having the support of a mentor would help them to stop re-offending with 71% saying they would like a mentor who is a former offender and 85% saying that starting mentoring while in custory would be welcome (Making the case, Prince’s Trust/Clinks/St Giles Trust/Rainer, 2008)
- The National Peer Mentoring Pilot 2006-2008 focused on four models of attainment, behaviour, anti-bullying and transition in 180 schools across 29 local authorities and found that over 80% of mentees and 90% of mentors felt positively about their experience (Formalised Peer Mentoring Pilot Evaluation, Canterbury Christ Church, 2008)
- Timebank’s Time Together refugee mentoring project analysed the impact of mentoring on levels of integration. In 73% of pairs, integration was successfully enhanced through offering of practical help and advice, building confidence and improving English language skills. 90% of mentees also said that they felt at home in the UK following their relationship (Changing Lives, Time Together, 2007)
Email Jeanette Boyd, our information and membership services manager for more information about the evidence base for mentoring and befriending.