Since our ROC Conversation in September 2018, it’s been an exciting time in Taunton. Piloting a night café for rough sleepers which has resulted in ROC TD leading on the provision of a severe weather shelter from the end of 2019, and beginning to develop a toolkit for facilitating initiatives and projects for use by individuals within their own communities have been two of the highlights. But what became apparent very quickly through our action group discussions was that mentoring was an excellent way of meeting many of the issues raised through our report, not least in supporting families and young people.

Through connections made at the action group, we were invited by Somerset County Council to join the discussion about how we can meet the needs of families in need of low-level support in light of funding cuts. ROC+COACH mentoring, it became apparent very quickly, was the perfect fit! Initial discussions with a local multi-academy trust, health visitors and family intervention workers have shown that there will be no shortage of referrers, and God has provided the perfect coordinator for this scheme in Ali, who herself has a passion, and career history, in supporting families. We are excited to be hosting a promotional evening on 1stMay, and already have nearly 20 people interested in becoming mentors. And that’s before we’ve properly advertised it! We’re working towards a September rollout of the programme, and are very excited to be supporting Taunton Deane’s families in this way!