Scheme hopes to build on early successes

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A NORTHUMBERLAND mentoring scheme is hoping to build on its early success.

The Volunteering In Partnership (VIP) project, which supports young people identified as needing help, is run by a consortium of three organisations – Northumberland Youth Offending Service, Barnardos and REMEDI.

Over the last ten months, 45 residents have trained to become role model mentors. They have given some useful guidance to youngsters aged between eight and 21 who have got into trouble with the police or recently left care.

The main aim of the consortium is to break the cycle of crime by building up a stable and supportive relationship with young people through the volunteers. It was recently shortlisted at the North East Youth Awards for the Best Youth Work Partnership.

Coun Lesley Rickerby, Executive Member for Children and Young People, said: “This project helps to build confidence and self-esteem in our young people and show them that they can work towards a better life.

“It is a two-way process that not only provides the young person with someone who can guide and support them in an understanding way, but also gives the mentor an insight into how young people perceive today’s world and that is a skill which is transferrable to the workplace.”

The consortium is looking for new mentors and will start training in May. Expenses and support are provided.

Those interested in volunteering can find out more by calling Emily Casson on 01670 852225 or emailing Emily.Casson@northumberland.gov.uk