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03 December 2018

Over 50s wanted for mentoring scheme

Everyone needs a little help to find their way in life, and young people leaving care can benefit more than most from a helping hand and a sympathetic ear

Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services

People over 50 are invited to join a scheme that pairs older mentors with care leavers who might benefit from advice, guidance and friendship.

The Grandmentors project, which is partially funded by Wiltshire Council, recruits, trains and supports mentors who use their skills and experience to support young people through the tricky transition into adulthood and independence

The idea has proved priceless in other regions. In Islington, London, 95% of young adults who were paired with an older mentor found a place in full-time education, training or work soon after leaving care. That is twice the national average.

Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children's services, said: "Grandmentors is a brilliant idea which harnesses the special bond that can develop between people who are separated by a couple of generations.

"Everyone needs a little help to find their way in life, and young people leaving care can benefit more than most from a helping hand and a sympathetic ear. We are pleased we can contribute to a scheme that has already shown its worth elsewhere in the UK.

"It has the potential to transform the life chances of young people across the county."

Jason Jones from Volunteering Matters, the charity that runs Grandmentors, said: "We are delighted to team up with Wiltshire Council."

"I've seen the impact that volunteers can have on young people in the Grandmentors projects in London and know that there are many people over 50 across Wiltshire who have valuable skills and experience that could really benefit a young care leaver."

Volunteering Matters is running the scheme on behalf of Wiltshire Council and is looking for volunteers. If you would like to find out more contact Hannah Wiseman at Volunteering Matters on 07741322544.

Last updated: 3 December 2018 | Last reviewed: 3 December 2018

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