Big Brother Big Sister programme calls out for volunteer mentors

Big Brother Big Sister programme calls out for volunteer mentors

By William O'Connor

PROGRAMME Officers of Foróige’s internationally renowned Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Programme are calling for volunteers to help them bring down their waiting list of referrals in the area.

The Tallaght/South Dublin programme matches a young person aged between 10 and 18 to an adult volunteer mentor of the same gender based on shared interests, hobbies and personalities in order to form a trusting friendship which supports the positive development of the young person.

Big Brother Big Sister Prog Officers Pic 1

SUCCESS: Maria Whitmore and Leah Clarke, Programme Officers, Foróige’s Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Programme at the launch of a ‘think BIG’ Campaign

Referrals to the programme come from a wide variety of sources in the community, including schools, health professionals, parents, State Agencies, Juvenile Liaison Officers and youth workers.

Big Brother Big Sister Programme Officer, Maria Whitmore says, “Because our programme is so highly valued in the community we get lots of referrals, but at the moment our waiting list is longer than we would like it to be and we want to change this.

“There are lots of positive role models in the Tallaght and the South Dublin community who have different life experiences, skills and personalities suitable for a mentoring role.

“The ‘think BIG’ volunteering campaign aims to tap into this wealth of experience for the benefit of young people in the area. Mentoring in youth work is a very powerful intervention that can literally change the life of a young person so it is very rewarding for volunteers who get involved.”

Independent research into Foróige’s Big Brother Big Sister Programme shows there are lots of benefits to a young person being involved, including an increased sense of hope, learning new skills, support and guidance during difficult times, more positive relationships with others and less likely to initiate drug and alcohol use.

The programme has been proven to be particularly beneficial to young people living in a one-parent family.

Volunteers interested can contact Maria at  

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