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Mentee Complaints Procedure

One Million Mentors (hereafter referred to as 1MM) is committed to providing a high-quality service to all people we work with, including young people we support, our partners, volunteers and supporters. The purpose of this policy is to ensure all mentees in the 1MM’s community know how to provide feedback or make a complaint and ensure that the feedback or complaint is brought clearly to our attention; that we investigate the complaint; and, where appropriate, take action to correct the situation and to ensure that we learn from the process.

1MM welcomes constructive feedback on its activities, whether positive or negative and understands that, from time to time, people may be dissatisfied or concerned with the way 1MM, its staff, participants, mentors or volunteers have acted. 1MM will respond proactively to all complaints made in good faith, where necessary, by improving procedures, correcting mistakes and learning from experience.


The aim of this procedure is to ensure that any problems or complaints raised by a mentee are brought clearly to our attention; that we investigate the problem; and, where appropriate, take action to correct the situation and to ensure that we learn from the process.

Complaints could relate to any aspect of the 1MM Mentoring Programme, for example, the processes involved, your mentor or your general experience.

1MM takes all complaints seriously and through the complaints process it aims to:

Provide an effective way for you to inform us if you are not happy
Support your right to complain and disagree
Resolve your complaint quickly and effectively

One Million Mentors Staff Contact

Every mentee will be assigned a member of the One Million Mentors staff to answer any day-to-day questions and to act as a point of contact for feedback, concerns or complaints. For all current participants, this will be the Mentee Project Coordinator, and for alumni, this will be the Regional Manager of the area they are in, If they are in an area with no Regional Manager, it will be the Head of Delivery.

Ongoing Evaluation and Feedback

1MM will undertake continuous assessment and evaluation, which will enable and encourage participants to give feedback on quality issues to do with the programme on an ongoing basis. This will be done through frequent feedback forms as well as monthly check-ins where the mentee has the opportunity to raise any concerns or issues.

If a participant has a complaint about the Organisation, a member of staff, a volunteer or an event or activity:

Raising a complaint informally

Mentees should, in the first instance, raise the issue of concern or complaint with the first-named person at their youth partner, or if this is not the case, with the 1MM staff contact person. The staff contact person will, if possible, act to resolve the problem or if unable to, will bring the matter to the attention of the Regional Manager.

Formal Complaints Process – Stage 1

Feedback and complaints can be submitted directly using the 1MM contact form located here:

Complaints Form

Or alternatively, you can email the complaint directly to complaints@1mm.org.uk

If you are dissatisfied with any aspects of our work or services, we want to make sure that we investigate your complaint thoroughly and provide you with a timely response. To allow us to do this, please provide as much information as possible when contacting us, including:
– The reason for your complaint
– Where and when it happened
– The name(s) of anyone involved (if known)
– The outcome you are hoping for
– Your contact details (name, address, daytime telephone number and/or email).

You will receive an automatic acknowledgement within minutes of submitting the complaint and a response from a member of the 1MM team within 24 hours.

We will try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible and provide you with a full response within two working days. However, sometimes we might need some extra time to investigate, in which case we will let you know when you should expect to hear from us.
We aim to resolve all complaints within 14 working days of receipt.

Formal Complaints Process – Stage 2

If, for any reason, you aren’t happy with the resolution of your complaint, let us know as soon as possible. Please tell us why you were not satisfied with our response and what you would like us to do to put things right. Please either respond directly to the member of staff you have been liaising with or contact our customer service team as outlined above. Your complaint will be escalated to the Senior Management Team. The Senior Management Team will review your complaint and respond within 7 workings days.

Formal Complaints Process – Stage 3

If complainants feel that the issue has not been satisfactorily dealt with they may contact the CEO directly through email at alveena.malik@1mm.org.uk. The complainant should receive a response within 14 days.

If there is a problem with a Mentor’s behaviour

It is important to note that 1MM is a supportive programme and therefore almost all issues can be resolved informally. Staff should consider picking up the phone and discussing issues in person rather than relying on email where tone can be misconstrued. Where informal measures are not enough the Mentor Coordinator will raise the issue in a formal meeting with the Mentor. If it is felt necessary, an informal warning may be issued, with steps agreed to improve conduct.

If the issue is still not resolved and the Project team feel their behaviour is affecting the delivery of the programme this may result in a formal warning, with the understanding that following another warning the participant will be asked to leave the programme.

If a mentor is believed to have behaved in a manner that has or could have seriously affected the 1MM Mentoring Programme – this could include, but is not limited to, theft, bullying, or violence – they will be immediately suspended while the Regional Manager, the Senior Management Team, and the Safeguarding Lead if necessary will investigate the matter. The participant will be able to put forward their case, and a decision will be made within 14 days. If the complaint against the volunteer is upheld they will be excluded from the 1MM Mentoring Programme.

In all cases, participants have the right to be accompanied at meetings on these issues by a participant, member of staff or friend.

CLOSING A COMPLAINT

1MM will consider each complaint carefully and decide upon an appropriate course of action. All complaints will be reviewed. In some cases, it may not be possible to investigate or substantiate complaints, or it may fall outside of our responsibilities.
If you have made a complaint and provided contact details, you will be informed of any part of the investigation which may involve you directly. However, due to confidentiality and legal restrictions 1MM may not disclose the outcome of the investigation or any information gained during the investigation, for example, 1MM may only report that an investigation has been carried out and appropriate action taken.
All complainants will be responded to as per the procedures and time frames set out above.
If you are not satisfied with our response, you can contact the Charity Commission on 0845 300 0218 or visit their website www.charitycommission.gov.uk for advice.
If your complaint relates to how we collect and use your personal information, you have the right to report your concerns to the UK data protection regulator, The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) www.ico.org.uk.

UNREASONABLY PERSISTENT COMPLAINTS

There are a small number of complainants who, because of the frequency, nature and quality of their contact with 1MM, hinder our consideration of theirs, or other people’s, complaints. We refer to such complainants as ‘unreasonably persistent complainants’ and, exceptionally, we will take action to limit their contact with our staff and volunteers
The decision to restrict access to our staff and volunteers will be taken by the CEO in consultation with senior management and will follow a prior warning to the complainant. Any restrictions imposed will be appropriate and proportionate. The options we are most likely to consider are:
– requesting contact in a particular form (for example, letters only);
– requiring contact to take place with a named individual;
– restricting telephone calls to specified days and times;
– and/or asking the complainant(s) to enter into an agreement about their future contact with us.
In exceptional cases, contact with a complainant may be terminated without restrictions first being imposed. This will be dependent on the individual circumstances but would be an option if the complainant’s behaviour is particularly severe, or includes threats to 1MM staff or volunteers. In all cases where we decide to treat someone as an unreasonably persistent complainant, we will write to tell the complainants why we believe their behaviour falls into that category, what action we are taking and the duration of that action. We will also tell them how they can challenge the decision if they disagree with it. If we decide to carry on treating someone as an unreasonably persistent complainant and we are still investigating their complaint six months later, we will carry out a review and decide if restrictions will continue.
Where a complainant whose case is closed persists in communicating with us about it, we may decide to terminate contact with that complainant about the matter. In such cases, we will read all correspondence from that complainant, but unless there is fresh evidence that affects our decision on the complaint we will simply acknowledge it or place it on the file with no acknowledgement.
New complaints from people who have come under this procedure will be treated on their merits.

CONFIDENTIALITY

While 1MM will treat any information given to us sensitively, we cannot always guarantee to keep your identity confidential as we may need to disclose your identity if required to do so by law. It should also be noted that your identity may be recognisable to others during the investigation due to the nature of the complaint, although we will endeavour to limit the risk of this where possible.
All complaints will be logged by the customer services team for reporting and monitoring purposes. Details of complaints are kept in accordance with our data protection policy.


Review of External Complaints Procedure

This procedure will be reviewed annually and altered as appropriate.