A North Yorkshire charity is calling on the county’s residents to become role models in their communities by giving their time to help young people make positive life choices.
Thirsk-based North Yorkshire Youth has supported community-based youth work in the county since 1941. In 2012 it worked with over 240 adult volunteers to provide opportunities for young people across North Yorkshire.
Now the charity is launching a campaign to recruit adult volunteers as ‘buddies’ for 16-19yr olds struggling with issues in education, employment or their personal lives. Launching initially in the Harrogate, Hambleton and Scarborough districts, the North Yorkshire Buddy Network will give volunteers the chance to act as mentors, offering support and signposting to individual young people in their area.
Speaking about the new scheme, Lucy Gratton, Head of Youth Work at North Yorkshire Youth, said:
With ongoing changes to our education system, fewer opportunities for meaningful employment and ever-evolving ways of communicating, young people today face a bewildering range of information and choices at every turn.
The Buddy Network will mean that young people will always have someone independent nearby to share some wisdom and a bit of hindsight that can inform the important choices they’re making. By giving just an hour a week, volunteers could make a real difference to a young life.
The scheme has been made possible with a grant from North Yorkshire County Council and includes training and professional support for its volunteers. Anyone interested in being part of the Buddy Network can visit North Yorkshire Youth’s website www.nyy.org.uk for more information, or call the organisation on 01845 522 145.