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Volunteer Mentors Needed

Published: 30/09/2015

Could you be a good role model for young people? If so, Flintshire County Council’s Volunteer Mentor Service would like to hear from you. With the number of children in care increasing, the council’s social services team is appealing for more local people to become volunteer mentors. Working one-to-one with young people in care, leaving care or living at home with families, mentors provide a listening ear and encouragement to achieve their goals. Mike Turner, 34, from Buckley has been volunteering as a mentor for the last five years and says he’s gained so much from the experience. He said: “I knew I had something to offer and wanted to do something different, without pressure so I could do it alongside my full-time job, so volunteering fitted perfectly. “It’s been a really rewarding and positive experience and I would encourage others to get involved.” Mike first heard about the volunteer mentor scheme through the Flintshire Local Voluntary Council (FLVC) in Mold and over the last 5 years has worked with 6 different young people. “They are all very different. The challenge is getting to know them and supporting them with their goals,” he said. “I’m not an expert but I’m there to offer support and point them in the right direction, get them involved in activities and help to build their confidence. “We chat about school and what they’ve done in the week. As you build trust and a relationship, they know that they can talk to you about any problems. We discuss their choices for the future and I can signpost them towards groups and services that they might not know about.” Mentors have access to support and training from Flintshire Social Services and are carefully matched with a young person who would suit their interests and needs. Mike said: “I’ve had the opportunity to gain skills, training and work in other areas of social services.” Andrea Wade, Mentoring Coordinator at Flintshire County Council, says mentors don’t need prior knowledge or experience, just good interpersonal skills and a commitment to supporting young people. She said: “The young people have told us that they’d like mentors who are friendly, good listeners, confidence builders and reliable.” Cllr Christine Jones, Cabinet Member for Social Services said: “The Council’s mentoring scheme has been very successful with the volunteers making a real positive difference to the lives of the young people involved. Our mentors tell us they find it very rewarding. I’d encourage anyone interested in the scheme to get in contact with us.” For more information on the Volunteer Mentor Service visit the Flintshire Council website, email or call Andrea Wade on 01352 701089