March 15, 2014
Government plans to cut the Mirrors youth development programme loose as an independent entity, according to Community Minister Wayne Scott.
And the overseas organisation on which Mirrors is based — Uncommon Results — has had its consultancy budget trimmed from $270,000 to $203,000. Overall, Mirrors saw its budget allocation for the coming fiscal year drop by $291,000, to $972,000.
Mirrors is to hold one intensive residential cycle for the 15- to 18-year-olds in the year ahead.
It will also deliver one middle school coaching initiative, plus four training sessions for personal development — but will require funding from the community to follow through, Mr Scott told MPs.
“This is in line with the ultimate goal of having the Mirrors Programme become 100 percent independent and separate from Government,” he added.
Since 2007 the programme has worked with 686 young people and more than 2,000 adults.
The Minister acknowledged that Mirrors, which was first hit by cuts under the Progressive Labour Party administration, has had to become “creative” to support itself. Staffing has also been cut, from ten positions to eight — and summer student helpers are no longer being hired.
The programme has developed a volunteer enrolment scheme to reduce “staff burnout”, Mr Scott said.
“Eight community volunteers completed approximately 54 hours of training, with a commitment to provide five hours per week to support the staffing void,” he said. “This equates to approximately one full-time equivalent staff provided by volunteers over the course of the year.”
Mirrors will rely on “community funding” for a part-time volunteer manager, he said.
Three volunteers have been enlisted for fundraising, in tandem with the group Mirrors Alumni and Friends Association, which became a charity last year.