Youth service volunteers needed

Appeal for people to help young people find the “right path in life”

Merton’s Youth Offending Service is appealing for volunteers to help mentor and support young people who are at risk of offending or trying to rebuild their lives and avoid re-offending.

The service would like to hear from anyone above the age of 18 who could spare a few hours each week to act as Mentors and help the young people achieve their goals. Mentors work with people on the programme for between three and 12 months and offer a range of support, including advice with school and college work and other support needs.

As well as Mentors, the service is also seeking volunteers who could act as Appropriate Adults. These volunteers would attend police stations with young people and support them throughout the police interview and their time in custody.

The service also needs people who could act as Referral/Youth Panel Members. They should live or work in the borough and would talk to young people who have been convicted, their parents or guardians and the victims to agree tailor made packages aimed at repairing the harm done and preventing further offending.

In return the service offers comprehensive training (induction and on-going) and accreditation of training for those who wish to pursue it, supervision from professionals, personal development opportunities and reimbursement of expenses.

Stephen Page, of the Youth Offending Service, said: “Anyone who could help with either of the three volunteering positions would be really helping a good cause. You do not need to be an expert, just a caring person who can spare some time to help others.

“The work we do is about building stronger communities and rather than abandoning or ostracising the young people who go off the rails, it is about helping them find the right path in life and once again becoming responsible members of the community.”

For further details on the Mentor or Appropriate Adult schemes, people should call Dominic or Andrew on 020 8274 4965. For more information about becoming a Referral or Youth Panel Member call Stephen Page on 020 8274 4968.