Bolton Lads and Girls Club in search for male role models
BOLTON Lads and Girls club has launched a search for role models who want to make a difference to a young person’s life.
The Spa Road club, which has almost 3,000 members, currently has 160 youngsters on the waiting list for a mentor — and bosses are urging more adults to sign up to help.
BLGC’s mentoring scheme works with young people aged between eight and 21, offering them guidance on a one-to-one basis, helping them achieve goals and overcome issues by following an action plan.
Volunteer recruitment officer Katherine Howell explained there was a particular emphasis being placed on getting male role models involved.
She said: “We do struggle to get male mentors involved in the project, but with the waiting list mainly made up of young boys, it’s important for us to get more men to sign up.
“There is no requirement for any experience in mentoring. It’s about being a positive role model and having that emotional intelligence to help understand what a young person is going through and support them.
“I think some people see the role as being like an extra parent — but this is a professional role and a mentor can build up great experience and skills that they can take with them, as well as the knowledge that they may have changed the path that a young person is walking.”
She added that working full-time “is not a barrier” to being a mentor as the club can fit sessions around job commitments.
The scheme sees a mentor and mentee meet for one hour a week for 12 months, and, during the process, they both receive weekly contact, support and guidance from a dedicated mentoring co-ordinator.
There are also training sessions once a month.
One such mentor is Chris Greaves, whose mentee is 11-year-old John Paul Dempsey.
Mr Greaves said: “Being his mentor gives me the chance to do something positive, but it’s more than that now. We enjoy the time we spend together and have got to know each other well.”
For more information on the mentoring programme: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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