It is that time of year again when Schools and Universities across the north east are settling back in for another term of learning; but some students are going that extra mile to help other students in their local community.
Youth Link, run by Children North East, has trained 25 enthusiastic young people (aged 18-25) during the summer as peer mentors, so that they are ready to support other young people (aged 12-18) address difficulties they face, such as family troubles, bullying and low self confidence. At the heart of the peer mentor approach the fact that young people relate far better to someone their own age.
Lynn Renwick, Service Manager at Children North East said: “Youth Link works brilliantly! Last year the young people helped showed big increases in confidence (at school) and 70% of young people said their mentor had helped them to improve friendships. 61% also said that the support had helped them cope better with problems.
Being a peer mentor can also make a real difference to the young people who volunteer. Last year all the young volunteers said that they had learned a huge amount that will be helpful for their education and future employment prospects.”
Youth Link currently runs in Newcastle and Northumberland funded by Big Lottery, Newcastle City Council and support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.