Call out for 'buddies'

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 12:27 03/02/2014

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Marlborough men are in demand to become mentors to primary school-aged boys.

Synergy Youth Mentoring co-ordinator Nancy Sherwood said there was a waiting list of boys needing a mentor, and all would benefit hugely from teaming up with a male buddy.

‘I think men just underestimate the value they can bring to a child's life," she said.

Rarangi man James Travers had been a mentor for Deaghlan Fahey, 8, since last May, after moving from Wellington and semi-retiring in the region.

"I just had a bit of time on my hands . . . I had a family myself, and they have all moved on and I built a bit of experience dealing with kids and I thought I might be of some use to some on else's with my experience."

Mr Travers said he liked working with younger boys to help keep them on track before they hit their teenage years. "With the younger ones my feeling was you might be able to make a difference in their lives earlier, to perhaps prevent future problems."

Synergy is a Family Works initiative of Presbyterian Support, which was one of the first men toring programmes in the country to be recognised as safe, effective and worthy of support from the Ministry of Social Development.

The recognition meant the programme, set up in 2000, met the Safe Practice Guidelines set out by the Government's Children's Action Plan.

A training day for new mentors will be held on March 2, and anyone, particularly men, interested in becoming a mentor, is asked to get to get in touch. "[Volunteers need to be] a reliable person of good character willing to enjoy some childhood experience with a little buddy. And of course women are welcome to volunteer as well." 

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- The Marlborough Express

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