Call for mentors sees fab response

AN appeal for mentors has seen an unprecedented response but the people behind the programme say there’s always room for more.

The Mentoring Young Talent Programme supports young people aged 12-24-years to discover and develop their talents increasing future employment options.

A mentor with the young person they support

Over 60 mentors are now at different stages of being approved and will soon be matched with a young person.

Last month, we told how the initiative which was initially trialled in two secondary schools was being expanded across the whole region and would work with people up to the age of 24-years-old.

This initiative is run by coordinators who are employed by Moray Council with support from Moray Pathways.

Christine Fairburn, Mentoring Young Talent Programme Co-ordinator explained: “We have been delighted with the response to our request for mentors to come forward. The program initially focused on Buckie and Elgin High Schools and we are delighted to be able to roll it out across Moray and we feel even more confident about the initiative thanks to the wonderful response from people who want to support young people.”

Christine added: “Mentors work with care experienced young people and others who have faced challenges and we anticipate that due to the pandemic and young people not having their usual routines of being in school that there will be an even greater need for support.”

Mentors need to be able to commit to providing at least an hour of support a week for a 12-month period. Each young person will be matched with an individual mentor who will be an impartial adult to talk to and build a positive relationship with

Michaella Henderson who works with Christine added: “All of our mentors are given training and like many things, we have had to adapt our training to make it accessible online. We are hoping that after the Easter holidays we will have been able to make some positive matches and that our mentors will be able to start meeting their mentees at the very least in an outdoor setting. What we have found in the past is that we match a young person with a mentor and before you no wit, they are recommending the mentoring programme to their friends, so to have so many mentors in the pipeline is fantastic. That said, we can never have too many. We do anticipate a greater demand than ever before, but also make sure that we match the mentor and mentee well. We don’t just put people together, we look at personalities, hobbies and interests and to make sure we get the best match as possible.”

Mentor Laura Russell said: “I love being a mentor. I get to meet a really cool young person and it has given me an insight into their life and some of the challenges they face. It’s also made me more aware of what’s gong in in my own community.”

She added: “It’s just an hour a week but it has such a positive effect for me and the young person and it’s now part of my weekly routine. I love sharing experiences with her. We talk about things that I never thought we would talk about. It’s just brilliant.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a mentor or other opportunities within the programme please email: Mentoring@Moray.Gov.Uk

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