Let's Start with Why? 

We are passionate about seeing young people develop and thrive, and believe that positive relationships are fundamental to human flourishing and overcoming the emotional pain of grief and loss. We value the uniqueness of every young person; the capacity for growth and positive change in any situation; and the contribution which the pastoral mentoring relationship makes to this development.

In an every-busy, time-short world, THIS WAY UP Pastoral Mentors are part of the team around the young person that gives regular time dedicated to showing the care, attention and practical knowledge necessary to support young people on their journey.

Half of all children born today will experience family breakdown

Half of all children born today will experience family breakdown by the age of 16 years according to a report by the Centre for Social Justice in 2016. Similarly, Child Bereavement UK (2015) estimate that 92% of young people will experience a significant bereavement before the age of 16 years. Solihull Council (SMBC) have identified that provision for divorce/separated families is one of the top 3 priorities for all of the schools in the borough (identified in the borough-wide consultation with Head teachers for the formulation of SMBC’s Early Help strategy, Jan 2016).  

How We Work

As a charity, we seek to make a genuine, positive and lasting difference to young people’s lives as they work through the challenges of loss, whether that be family breakdown or bereavement. We value each and every young person and centre a great deal of our work around their story and their capacity for growth and positive change in the face of suffering and loss. Our experience of building attentive relationships through mentoring has shown us what a huge impact can be made by the smallest things: listening, equipping and encouraging. 

Mentoring is dynamic practice. Things change. People grow and develop through a process. There are ups and downs and no short cuts. 

In our role we walk alongside young people and employ theories of loss: person-centred counselling skills; creative activities and solution focused strategies to enhance their social and emotional skills and facilitate the growth of their resilience. 


This Way up is a valuable part of the caring community we want to encourage.

- Councillor Ken Meeson, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills


What We Do

Our Pastoral Mentors work each week in the Secondary Schools who have a Service Level Agreement with us to support students to: 

  • Understand and process the complexity of emotions that are a part of loss/grief (including anger, anxiety and low mood/depression)
  • Reduce the distress they are experiencing
  • Build their resilience to cope in order that:
    • they recognise their innate value, strengths and resources
    • their social relationships improve
    • their ability to concentrate and engage with education increases
    • they can achieve more

* Our fully completed Referral form and the consent of the student’s parent or carer are required for us to engage in the work. All of our Pastoral Mentors receive regular case-supervision from a qualified and experienced Team Leader/Supervisor as well as on-going training.


This way up has done such a fantastic job with some of our most vulnerable students

 - Ms Smith, Senco at St Peter's Catholic School


Service Level Agreement

We provide three 1:1 Pastoral Mentoring appointments in school for 38 weeks of the academic year, accompanied by weekly Brief Summaries of the work and an End-of-Intervention Summary that includes outcome measures for each student. 

Written summaries and other communication with school staff and any other professionals respect both the confidentiality of the student and the principles of best safeguarding practice. End-of-Intervention Summaries include the outcome measures from our use of the Young Persons CORE