I wanted to do something and give back as I feel I have been very fortunate.
I needed to find an opportunity that I could do whilst working full time and something that offered flexibility and fit in with my busy schedule. A friend recommended Bolton Lads &b Girls Club and said they did great things and I should check out the mentoring role. So I did.
The training gives you all the information you need and just as important you meet other mentors and the staff that will support you.
Every week I get a phone call from my Coordinator, they are there for advice, support and guidance and you get to meet up every few months or so.
He loves to get the 1:1 attention for an hour a week. We do lots of outdoor things when the weather permits and he loves exploring new places and we are lucky in Bolton as we have so many walks and nice places to go on our doorstep, it keeps him fit and active.
Mentoring has been a real eye-opener for me as to what some kids from Bolton go through. You see these things on TV but don’t realise kids are going through some tough things in your area. It is a huge challenge in terms of how you relate to someone who has gone through some tough things you haven’t, which is good to push your boundaries. The reward is seeing the change in your young person, for example, my first young person had been removed from mainstream school. He had a real temper and couldn’t control it. I helped him try to slow life down a bit and tried to help him manage his anger, by simple breathing techniques.
Stop thinking about it and start doing it and the rewards you will get will be massive. It’s just an hour and travel a week, so it’s do-able!