Our intandem service, which provides mentors for young people, currently has around 15 volunteers. But we’re always looking for new recruits! Two current members of the intandem team, Katy Watt and Conor Kelly-Mitchell, explain why they got involved.
Katy heard about intandem while she was doing her sociology and politics degree at Glasgow Caledonian University.
“I’d always liked the idea of volunteering, especially anything involving young people. I had a chat with someone at uni who was looking for volunteers and eventually I was put in touch with Caroline, Ypeople’s volunteer coordinator.
“I was a little apprehensive at first but the training we were given made a big difference. We had four sessions covering different scenarios that might come up as well as things like the importance of confidentiality and child protection.
“In February last year, I had my first meeting with the young person I’m mentoring, a 14-year old boy. It took a little while to warm up but, fortunately, I can talk for Scotland! At first, I would see him every week, now it’s every fortnight.
“We chat about anything – it can be personal stuff, things that are happening at school or just what we thought of the latest Avengers film. We’ve done all sorts of activities – going to the inflatables, Laser Quest, the movies or trying out restaurants he’s not been to before like Nandos and Taco Belle.
“The best thing about it for me is getting the trust of the young person you’re working with and building a friendship with them.”
Conor has worked at Ypeople since May last year providing HR support.
“In a previous job as a sales executive we were encouraged to help out in our spare time at a homeless shelter. I enjoyed it and always thought I’d like to do more volunteering if the right opportunity came up.
“Caroline is a great sales person for intandem and, after we got chatting, she encouraged me to sign up as a mentor.
“I was lucky enough to have a nice upbringing but not everyone is that fortunate.”
We all know what an impact a child’s background can have when they’re growing up. I’ve always been keen on helping others who are less well off than me and working as a mentor is the ideal way to do that.
“I’ve just started my training and it’s been really useful chatting to Katy as she’s got the experience of working with a young person for a year. I’m really looking forward to getting matched up with my young person.”
And for anyone thinking of getting involved as a mentor, Katy has some advice: “Don’t over think it – just do it! It’s fun and really rewarding.”
For further information on our intandem service contact Caroline McIntosh on< back