Swindon Youth Mentoring charity SMASH has launched a project to help children in their final years of primary school to create and hold onto lasting memories as they make the transition into their teenage years.
The SMASH team are applying their tried and tested model of enabling young people to interact on a regular basis with a trusted adult and are appealing for volunteers to become memory makers.
Most people take happy childhood memories for granted – whether it’s reading a special book, flying a kite, visiting somewhere new or perhaps spending time with a grandparent. But for some, childhood is recalled as a dark place, a struggle because of bereavement, family breakdown, domestic violence or parental illness.
Pictured: Lyn Hartman and SMASH coordinator Rob Chappell with Memory Maker coordinators Claire, Hilary and Amanda.
Memory makers are people who can offer one-to-one support for children aged 10 to 12 years old to provide opportunities to enjoy consistent and rewarding activities.
Describing the importance to children of having positive and reliable adults in their lives Memory Makers co-founder Lyn Hartman, said: “We carry our childhoods with us all through our lives, so our early memories are very important to who we are as adults. Memory makers are matched with a child to spend some time with them each week to help build a store of positive experiences.
“One thing that makes a huge difference to young people is to have an adult who isn’t paid, to meet them regularly, to listen and believe in them.
“Anyone who has some time either fortnightly or weekly, who has the patience to play, listen and see the world through the child’s eyes would make a perfect memory maker.”
Lyn is keen to spread the word about the project by giving talks to members of sports clubs, craft and outdoor groups, and would welcome invitations to discuss how a hobby or sports activity can give children good experiences to remember.
Full training is provided over two evenings and one Saturday, followed by regular and close support.
Find out more by contacting Lyn: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01793 729748.