Volunteers with a Portlaoise based youth mentoring project were warmly thanked for their good work at theirChristmas party.
Le Chéile Mentoring Project volunteers enjoyed their Christmas celebration in Relish Brasserie in Portlaoise recently, where co-ordinator Helen McCarthy thanked them for making a real change in young people’s lives.
The volunteers meet up weekly with young people who are in contact with the Probation Service.
They spend two or three hours sharing fun activities while offering friendship and guidance. Others spend time with their parents, again to offer guidance and support.
One of the youth mentors is well known runner Aengus Burke from Portlaoise. He has been spending time with a teen over the course of 2013 and has seen the difference it has made.
“I can see real changes in him and I can see his confidence building since we started our meetings,” he said.
Ms McCarthy is project co-ordinator with Le Chéile, who operate in Laois, Offaly and Kildare.
“Each week these volunteers give up their time to support someone in difficult circumstances.
Their patience, consistency and guidance can have long term positive effects with the families we work with,” she says.
She says that something as simple a meeting for a chat, encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem and supports a young person through a difficult time.
“Typically a volunteer would offer support for a period of up to one year, so the impact of a few hours per week over this time can be really significant” she said.
To become a volunteer, no previous experience is needed as full training is provided and mentors are fully supported and guided through the process.
Le Chéile will be recruiting volunteers in early 2014.
Visit www.lecheile.ie firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or contact Helen at 086 7966441.