Could you be a volunteer mentor?
It’s National Volunteer Week and Flintshire is asking if you could be a volunteer mentor for a child or young person.
Children’s Social Services recruit volunteers to be mentors for children and young people. The young people who are referred to the volunteer mentor service have different needs because their circumstances are all different. It may be a young person moving into independent living or a young person struggling to overcome low confidence or social isolation or a child who is living with a parent who is struggling emotionally.
The role of the mentor is to work flexibly with the young person and apply different approaches accordingly. A mentor can support a young person in many ways, for example with:
• Pursuing hobbies and interests
• Managing friend and family relationships
• Visits to fitness / sports centres
• Managing money
• Settling into / remaining settled in accommodation
• Emotional support
• Talking, walking, relaxing activities
The amount of time you volunteer will depend on you and your mentee. It will usually be once a week for 2-3 hours.
One volunteer, Jenna-Leigh Phillips, is a busy mum who fits her volunteering in around her children’s schooling. She said:
“Today my mentee and I went for a coffee and a catch up. My mentee has a lot going on in her life and dedicates so much time to everyone else. Having the ability to air how she is feeling- without being judged helps her gain perspective on everything. The focus of today’s session was college, as she’s currently working from home with limited support.
“I decided to be a volunteer because I was shocked at the waiting times for young people who are in need of support. I therefore wanted to actively play a role in supporting young people through difficult and challenging stages of their life in the hope I have a positive impact.
“What I like most about being a volunteer is seeing the smile on the young person’s face after our meeting, when sometimes at the beginning of the meeting the young person can struggle to see anything positive.
“I would advise other people to give volunteering a go because there are so many young people in need of support, just a few hours a week can make a huge difference in their life.”
Flintshire’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Wellbeing, Councillor Christine Jones, said:
“Volunteering is such a rewarding thing to do. We are looking for people with a positive outlook, good communication skills and commitment to supporting young people. Young people have told us that they want a mentor who is friendly, reliable, a good listener and a confidence builder.
“As a volunteer mentor, you meet regularly with your young person to build up a rapport; young people often need to feel better about themselves before they can begin to set goals, address challenges and learn to make decisions for themselves.”
For further information please contact Andrea Wade, volunteer mentor co-ordinator – 01352 701089. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at our webpages: