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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.

The discussions at that "Roundtable" centered around defining formal and informal mentoring; understanding what currently was in place in order to create a culture to support, expand and sustain mentoring across the community; and action steps that needed to be taken to keep a mentoring momentum moving forward.

From that day came the knowledge that mentoring was alive and well in Peel Region, and evolved into an even further commitment that it remain that way. Those involved committed to creating an action plan to further enhance and grow mentoring capacity in social services and health related organizations.


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.

As a primary example, there was a real conviction from those that had experience with mentoring programs, that mentoring led to higher staff morale. To test this belief, the group sought out and was successful in receiving a grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation. With additional support in part by the Community Leadership Alliance of Peel, the committee hired Shelley Cleverly an independent research consultant, to conduct research on mentoring. The goals of the research project were to explore the impact mentoring services had on organizations in relation to governance, human resources, services and other factors identified as the project developed. In addition to this, there was a further goal of identifying any factors and conditions that enabled or limited the capacity of organizations to provide mentoring services. Not surprisingly the research clearly revealed important benefits of mentoring for organizations that provide it and that mentoring has value that goes beyond those who are mentored. We also learned that mentoring strengthens organizational capacity. When our organizations are stronger, then our communities are stronger and our sector is therefore stronger.

The recommendations from the research included the development of a Peel Region wide program to support organizations to increase their capacity to provide mentoring – whether for board members, other volunteers, staff, or clients, and from that recommendation the Community Collaborative for Mentoring in Peel changed its name to the Peel Mentoring Network, and was successful once again in accessing funds from The Ontario Trillium Foundation to build such a program.

The contributions to the research from you and others in Peel Region have set the foundation for building an innovative, three-year program involving a series of capacity-building workshops and other developmental supports.


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.

We thank everyone who has participated in that work and for their support in helping us to achieve all that has happened from the beginning, we continue to look forward to the future of making Peel the "Mentoring Capital of Canada".


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."

Trillium Foundation