With new, modern phenomena such as cyber bullying and the omnipresence of social media, the pressures of school life, the effects of unhealthy friendships and – in some cases –the financial pressure on families, more and more young people need a quiet space with someone they can talk to where they know they won’t be judged or in trouble.
In 2013 alone, Ossory Youth’s mentoring programme provided much needed support and guidance to 15 young people on a one-to-one basis. This support was only possible by the dedication and commitment of seven adult volunteers, who gave up an hour a week to provide a friendly listening ear to a young person trying to keep up with modern adolescent life.
Marie Power is one of those mentors.
“For me, it was nice to see a young person I mentored work out that there was nothing wrong with being shy, but it was stopping her from doing things she wanted to do,” she says.
“This gave her the confidence and self-assurance to sign up to things and not let her shyness stop her. And the funny thing is that she learned this by herself, I only created the space for her to work it out for herself.”
At the moment, Ossory Youth is looking to increase the panel of mentors available.
“On a few of occasions, we’ve had a waiting list of young people seeking one-to one-support and we weren’t able to provide it straight away,” said Paul Bolger, a coordinator of the programme.
“We would like to be able to offer the mentoring at the time when it’s needed. That’s why we are making a fresh appeal to people in Kilkenny to try out volunteering as mentors for young people.
“We are inviting adults of all ages to contact us if they think they might like to try volunteering, even if they’re not sure what’s involved. We will talk it through with them without any commitment.”
Anyone interested in finding out more information, please feel free to drop into Ossory Youth on New Street or alternatively contact Paul Bolger at 087-9503688 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or David Gray at 087-0525266 (email@example.com).