Armed with the conviction that the act of mentoring can and does have powerful and positive effects on people, in 2001, a group of professionals from Peel Region met to share goals and ambitions regarding mentoring. At that time, Mary Needham, the former Executive Director of Big Brothers of Peel shared with us her dream that Peel Region would become the "Mentoring Capital of Canada". At her encouragement and as a result of a shared passion among those in attendance, a working group was formed and together they hosted the first "Mentoring Roundtable." The purpose of that Roundtable was to create an understanding of what Mentoring was; to develop an ideology of what we needed to do in Peel Region to increase the scope and impact of mentoring and to develop an action plan to further the dream of seeing mentoring embraced, promoted and encouraged in our community.
As a result of the previous work, in 2002 the Collaborative Committee on Mentoring was formed. The committee was comprised of executive directors and senior staff from organizations that collectively had offered formal mentoring programs to the community for years. It was their belief that mentoring worked and served to enhance organizational capacity.
In 2005 the new Peel Mentoring Network formally began the work of the funded project. Among a variety of activities in the work plan, our first open community workshop on mentoring was held. Later in 2005, a project manager was hired and the Steering Committee continued to evolve to support the project goals and objectives. We continued to develop our workshops, the resources and information to promote and support mentoring and to determine the needs of the participants to ensure that mentoring grows and flourishes as a result of our work. Research continued in 2005 as well as determining what other mentoring projects were in existence so that we could ensure good synergy and avoid any duplication.
In April of 2006, our second community workshop was held - the subject "Creating a Culture of Mentoring", this was an important step in laying the groundwork for those who do or plan to engage in mentoring. Next, the Network began the process of researching the needs of the members for the design and usage of a website. The RFP process generated a high rate of interest and through a detailed and pre-determined process, the selection of a design company was made. The process of designing the content, "look", and functions of the website began in earnest. By the end of 2006 the site was virtually ready for launch. A third community workshop - designed to examine "best practices" was researched and planned and is scheduled for 2007. Work continued on the evaluation process for the project and the development of a "Logic Model", which identifies our intended outcomes and sets out clear indicators to ensure those outcomes are met. The network continues to encourage feedback from the community and encourage the growth of mentoring in Peel. It is our hope that visitors to this website can provide feedback to help us continue to further our goal of "Strengthening Mentoring Capacity in Peel Region."