A popular youth mentoring programme in Lincolnshire is looking for new volunteers to help change young people’s lives.
The scheme run by Lincolnshire Action Trust, and commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council, aims to help youngsters choose a life away from crime.
Currently, 25 volunteers offer support, guidance and assistance to young people aged between 8 -18 across the county, through one-to-one sessions.
Ben*, 14, and mentor Gary, 30, were matched earlier this year. The pair meet on a weekly basis as Gary supports and motivates Ben to overcome challenges.
Gary explains: “I decided to get involved so I could make a contribution to my local community. I’d been to university and studied criminology, so thought I would be able to use my experiences to help young people going through the criminal justice system.
“Every young person I’ve worked with has been very different, all facing different issues and challenges. In our sessions, we cover a number of topics – home life, education, jobs and the list goes on! I don’t tell them what to do, instead I listen to their issues and help guide them towards a brighter future away from a life of crime.
“It is really rewarding when you’ve built a bond with the young person, made a positive impact on their life and then see them go on to reach their full potential – whether it’s getting back into education and gaining some GCSEs or getting into the world of work. It is hard work sometimes, but very worthwhile – I would recommend it to anyone.”
Andy Cook, head of Lincolnshire Youth Offending at Lincolnshire County Council, comments: “This service is so valuable to the young people of Lincolnshire. Mentors can have a powerful and positive impact on the young people they work with, hopefully building their confidence and self-esteem, supporting them to get back into or stay in education or encouraging them to get into work or sign up for an apprenticeship.”
Jenny Wallace, mentor co-ordinator at Lincolnshire Action Trust, adds: “Mentoring is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and give something back to the local community. Volunteers will be given full training and will be DBS checked.
“If this sounds like something you would like to get involved in, please get in touch. We welcome applications from people of all ages and backgrounds across Lincolnshire who have the commitment to work with young people.”
For more information, or to register as a mentor, please contact Jenny Wallace on 01522 806611.
* Names have been changed.