A GRANT of £5,000 from the Worcestershire Freemasons to Mentor Link will mean more children and young people across the West Midlands will be able to get a trained volunteer role model to help them in their lives.
Many vulnerable young people are easily taken in by negative outside influences and the charity’s mentoring scheme gives them a positive adult role-model to offer reassurance, stability and guidance during difficult times in their lives. It also helps them achieve positive changes both personally and educationally.
The children will be referred to Mentor Link when school-based mentoring is not appropriate or possible.
Sessions are delivered weekly and offer one-to-one social and emotional listening support to disadvantaged and vulnerable young people experiencing difficulties. Among the conditions are anxiety, self-harm and low-level mental issues, low self-esteem and confidence, bulling, traumatic bereavement and family breakdown.
When the head of Worcestershire Freemasons, Robert Vaughan, visited Mentor Link, he met Marissa who was herself supported by the charity at high school.
At the time she was a young carer for her six siblings following her parents’ separation.
She was referred to the charity to help her cope with the demands of home and school life.
She became a mentor herself in 2017, wanting to give something back, and is now settled down and a proud mum-of-two children.
Part of the Worcestershire Freemasons’ funding will help train more people like Marissa to become mentors to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in the West Midlands.
Statistics show – of the 453 West Midlands’ young people supported by Mentor Link in 2019, 89 per cent improved their confidence and self-esteem and 72 per cent their academic performance.
Behaviour improved in 68 per cent, 72 per cent had better relationships with family, peers and teachers, 78 per cent improved their health and wellbeing and 71 per cent had more engangement with their community.
The grant has come through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Mentor Link CEO Andrea Maddocks said the charity was very grateful for the generous grant.
“Mentoring can be an enormous help to vulnerable young people with their mental health and wellbeing, and the distressing and destabilising time so many of them have had during the pandemic means our service is needed more than ever.”
Mr Vaughan added the organisation was very pleased to be able to help such an excellent cause.
“It’s a tried and tested way to help them improve their behaviour and self-confidence, not to mention their performance in the classroom.
“Children only get one chance at getting an education and Mentor Link’s work can transform their life chances.”