Spotlight On: Chapter2


We love having Chapter2 as part of our Connect Reading community! Andrea Smith, Operations Manager at Chapter2, took some time to answer our questions and tell us a bit more about Chapter2.

Chapter2 is a mentoring charity based in Reading. We train male mentors from churches and the community and pair them with boys aged 7-16 who are growing up without a father or father figure with the aim of building long-term relationships and providing positive male role models. The boys are referred to us by schools, social services and families themselves.

Why did you join Connect Reading?

 To network and connect with other like-minded organisations and charities making a difference to families in our town, and to work together in a more joined up way.

What was your biggest challenge last year?
I started working for Chapter2 in May 2020 during the pandemic, so there was the immediate challenge of having to support mentors and families and connect with agencies virtually, rather than face to face. We’ve had to rethink how we train mentors on Zoom and how to keep the mentoring relationships going as restrictions have tightened and changed.
What have you learned?

I’ve grown so much in my understanding of the impact of trauma on us all – and am helping Chapter2 to develop a trauma informed approach in all we do. The power of consistent, caring, safe relationships (in our case between adult male mentors and boys growing up without a father figure) can bring hope and can help to heal past trauma. I find this so exciting and motivating.

What has been your biggest creative triumph as an organisation?
Our lead trustee Rich, set up an epic fundraising challenge – gathering 28 men to do the Welsh 3000s challenge. On 19/20 June they walked for 24 hours, climbing 14 peaks, covering 30 miles. Together they raised over £50,000 for Chapter2, which will enable us to train and support more mentors and reach out to more families who have been referred to us – we currently have 50 boys in Reading on our list waiting for a mentor.
What are you most looking forward to?

We have recently employed two new staff, Claire Brown our Office Manager and Pete Willmot, Project Manager. I’m looking forward to working together as a team and the creativity that will no doubt spark. As a relatively new charity I’m excited about how we grow and develop what we are doing.

How can people connect with you and support what you’re doing?

We’d love to chat to you about our mentoring – whether you might be interested in becoming a mentor, supporting the charity or referring someone who may benefit from our mentoring.

You can find us on our website – and Facebook.

Spotlight On: Chapter2
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