27 young people in Swindon need an adult mentor. Training course starts 13 June
“I spent the past year volunteering as a mentor for a Swindon charity called SMASH,” said Georgina Viveash, Zurich worker who made a skydive jump to raise money for the charity on 30 May. “It changed my life and I want to urge other people to consider being a mentor this year”.
SMASH provides mentors for young people in Swindon who are struggling to cope with all sorts of issues such as neglect, abuse, mental health problems, eating disorders, bullying, and bereavement – not to mention the normal teenage angst of growing up and finding their place in the world.
After completing her training Georgina was paired with a 13 year old girl who had various things going on in her home and personal life. She said: “It took a while to gain her trust and to create a bond with her, but through spending a few hours each week together we soon began to develop a really special relationship and I could see her changing. She set personal goals and I helped her to achieve them.”
“Although challenging at times it was a pleasure mentoring this young person and I saw first-hand what a difference this charity can make. I think what really makes the mentoring work so well is the fact that I was doing this because I wanted to, and not just because I was being paid to do it. I think that made a huge difference to the way she viewed me. Our weekly meet-ups provided her with stability and the chance to vent to someone whilst enjoying an activity such as swimming, bowling or just a chat over a coffee.”
If you are inspired by Georgina’s story and feel you could be a mentor then contact SMASH now. The next training starts on 13 June. Twenty seven young people are waiting for a mentor.
Georgina has raised over £1,000 for SMASH for her skydive. Boost her total at her Just-giving page
Explaining the need for fundraising charity managing director Rob Chappell said: “SMASH needs all the money it can raise this year as our lottery grant runs out next summer.”
“As youth work budgets continue to be cut even more of our most vulnerable young people find themselves exposed and at even greater risk. Hundreds of them come to us every year asking for a little bit of guidance and the chance to use their imagination, energy and creativity to become the adults they want to be.”
“The government simply won’t pay for this kind of youth work but we hope that the people of Swindon will see how important it is and help us raise the £200,000 we need every year to give our young people the chance they deserve.”
To find out more about becoming a SMASH mentor or e-mail: email@example.com or call 01793 729748