Breakthrough Mentoring now POSTPONED until August 2020

Hi everyone,

I’m getting in touch to let you know that due to an unexpected change in circumstances since my message last week, I’m having to make more changes for Breakthrough.

As I explained last week, I decided to furlough some members of the Breakthrough team for a temporary period of time from Monday 1st June 2020.  Which means that some team members will have time away from work and may not return until the schools reopen in August.  By furloughing staff, Breakthrough will be able to receive financial support from the UK Government through the employee retention scheme.  This will mean that Breakthrough will be able to come through this difficult period in a stronger financial position as we will have saved a significant sum of our charity’s funding.

At the end of last week, the UK Government announced changes to the employee retention scheme which means that for Breakthrough to save vital funds, I will now need to furlough the remaining senior schools coordinators from 10th June.

This means that we will need to suspend all our mentoring activity until the schools reopen in August.  It also means that as Breakthrough Coordinators will be furloughed and therefore taking time away from work, they will not be contactable until they return to work.

I am really sorry if this news is disappointing for you, it was another very difficult decision for me to make but it is necessary for our charity at this time.

Please remember that my colleague Laura and I will still be at work to keep Breakthrough ticking over and I have shared my contact details below and I’m more than happy for you to get in touch if you need support or someone from Breakthrough to talk to between now and the schools reopening in August.

I have amended the FAQs below which I hope will help answer any questions or worries you may have about these temporary changes in Breakthrough.

With very best wishes,
Jenny

Frequently asked questions

Will I be able to stay connected with my mentor?
Sadly, this won’t be possible.  We have had to take the decision to suspend all mentoring support until the schools reopen in August.


Can I contact my own coordinator?
No, unfortunately.  After 10th June all Breakthrough school coordinators will be furloughed and they legally are not permitted to undertake any work for Breakthrough until they return from furlough.

When will I be able to speak to someone from Breakthrough again?
Senior members of the Breakthrough team who are based in schools will be available for you to talk to until 9th June. After this, and during the school holidays, you will be able to contact Jenny or Laura by phone, text, WhatsApp and email.  We will be introducing a chat function on our website for people who want to make contact with us during the summer holidays but may be uncomfortable talking on the phone.

What if I don’t want to speak with Jenny or Laura?
We understand that you know and trust your own Breakthrough schools coordinator and reaching out or confiding in another member of the team may feel difficult.  You are an important member of the Breakthrough community in Dundee and we would encourage you to keep in touch with us, especially if you want to stay connected to your mentor or are having a difficult time and need someone to talk to.

What do I do if I am feeling worried or feeling at risk?
If you are feeling worried or anxious about something or feel at risk or unsafe please let us know. Breakthrough cares very much about your safety and wellbeing and Jenny is here if you need support from 10th June until the schools reopen. If Jenny takes any holidays during this period, Laura our Mentor Services Manager will be available to support you.  Dundee City Council is also making plans to support young people in schools and community hubs over the summer and they will communicate these plans to you very soon.

Who else can I go to for support?
If you need support between now and the end of term, please reach out to us and we will ensure we connect you to the support that is appropriate for you. If you need support during the summer holidays, there are a number of options.

What does ‘furlough’ mean?
Furlough is a temporary situation.  It means that some of our team are being asked not to work for a period of time and the Government will provide financial support for our charity whilst staff are furloughed.  We have decided to furlough some of our team because we are unable to work in schools at present and whilst lots of young people are staying in touch with us and their mentors, which is brilliant – there are many more who have chosen not to engage during this period.  As CEO, I have had to make what I believe it is the responsible thing to do, to ensure that we remain available to you but also access important financial support from the Government through the furlough scheme.  This will help Breakthrough to be in a stronger financial position when schools reopen which in turn means our future is more secure.

Will Breakthrough be coming back?
Absolutely! Whilst most our team will be away from work between now and the schools reopening, some of us will remain at work.  We can’t wait to be back in schools and spending time with you and the Breakthrough mentors. We will pay close attention to guidance from the Scottish Government and will be ready to start again as soon as it is safe to do so. We hope that when that time comes, you will continue to be an important member of our amazing community of Breakthrough young people and stay involved with the exciting things we can offer you to help you reach your potential.

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