Are You Meant To Mentor?

Niall Blee, volunteer coordinator at Include Youth, takes to the streets with his colleagues in search of volunteers who are meant to mentor
Niall Blee, volunteer coordinator at Include Youth, takes to the streets with his colleagues in search of volunteers who are meant to mentor

A CHARITY supporting vulnerable young people throughout Northern Ireland seeks volunteers.

Include Youth is seeking volunteer mentors who can give up to three hours a week of their time to support a young person overcome barriers that may be holding them back from attending a training course or moving into work.

"A volunteer mentor is an additional support put in place to help young people on our Give and Take Scheme gain a greater sense of independence in their life," said Niall Blee, volunteer coordinator at Include Youth.
"Each volunteer works with one young person at a time to assist them achieve specific goals, overcome isolation and any personal issues which may be impacting on their daily routine. This might be over a number of months or for a couple of years."

Include Youth is particularly hoping to recruit volunteers in the Newtownards, Belfast, Ballymena, Coleraine, Armagh, Dungannon, Derry and Omagh areas. Each applicant will then be invited to attend a short interview at their nearest Include Youth office in May.

"Typically volunteer mentors will be aged 21 or over, have a friendly personality and good communication skills," said Niall.
"Previous volunteer mentors have included company directors to film directors, retired teachers to unemployed people, and students to bar staff, all of which helped make a difference to a young person's life.
"All volunteers will receive training to OCN Level 2 standard and complete an Access NI check before being matched with a young person. Training will take place on June 20, 21 and 28."

The young people involved with Include Youth's Give and Take Scheme are aged 16 to 21 years, and are involved with the Scheme to help gainqualifications, work experience and grow in confidence and self-esteem.

Ailish Daly, from Castlederg, has mentored a young person in the Omagh area for almost two years.

"I always felt that volunteering was for me and that it was something I would be capable of doing," said Ailish.
"Like most people I felt I could benefit from taking some time away from my work and studies to focus on something or someone other than myself. Mentoring helped me gain a better understanding of the challenges facing this group of young people, who haven't always had positive experiences in their lives.
"I would definitely recommend mentoring to everyone. For me it has been a real opportunity to make a positive contribution to a young person's life and provide them with a chance to get away from their usual environment."

Include Youth's mentoring is funded by Big Lottery Northern Ireland. For more information about mentoring young people on Include Youth's Give and Take Scheme contact Niall Blee on 028 7127 2760 or


Media Enquiries: For more information contact Sharon Whittaker, Communications Officer at Include Youth, on 028 9031 1007 or email

Notes to editors:

  • Include Youth's Give and Take Scheme is based throughout Northern Ireland, supporting 150 vulnerable or disadvantaged young people with employability at any one time;
  • The Give and Take Scheme is supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Big Lottery NI;
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