New mentors sought to help young people across Scotland
Scotland’s national mentoring programme for young people who are looked after at home has launched a new volunteer recruitment drive to meet increased demand for referrals.
intandem, which matches young people with trained adult volunteer mentors, are anticipating intensified need for the programme across Scotland.
While the social limitations from the Covid-19 lockdown have been felt by everyone, for the young people intandem supports, who are already coping with challenging home lives, the need for support and contact through regular mentoring has never been more needed.
The programme remained operational during Covid-19 supporting all 122 young people currently being mentored, moving to combine virtual meet ups with socially distanced outdoor walks and cycles.
We are now looking to attract a new intake of mentors so even more children and young people can benefit from mentoring.
As one mentor explained: “Lockdown has been a challenge but an opportunity to find new ways to communicate and do fun things. Importantly it’s given me an opportunity to build a relationship with my mentee’s family which had been difficult previously.”
Another mentor said: “It has been good to maintain contact and for my young person to feel they still have my support and I am there for them. It also lets them vent frustrations to someone outside the family and talk about any concerns. It feels good to still have contact even if it’s just a phone call or Zoom.”
intandem’s recent volunteer survey revealed the substantial benefits of mentoring, especially during current circumstances.
- 93% reported that their own mental wellbeing had improved since becoming a mentor. A further 96% also said they felt better about themselves because of their involvement with intandem.
- The survey also highlighted employment opportunities and work experience gained through becoming a mentor, with 98% of respondents saying they had gained new skills and 98% saying they had learned new things from their mentee.
- All volunteers said they would recommend becoming an intandem mentor to their friends and family.
The most important opinions are from the young people themselves.
“I have someone to talk to and we do different things and its more fun.”
“My mentor phones me every week and she cheers me up if I’m having a bad day.”
“It’s nice to talk to someone different, made me feel happier; it’s nice to feel that someone is interested in me.”
If you are interested in becoming a mentor and can commit to meeting a young person weekly for at least twelve months, please get in touch: