Could you be a fa­ther fig­ure?

Kapiti Observer - - OUT & ABOUT - MATT STE­WART

Nine-year-old Jonathan Virgo faced grow­ing up without a fa­ther fig­ure till a caped cru­sader came along to save the day.

Kevin Stevens, who also moon­lights in his Bat­man suit as a col­lec­tor for chil­dren’s char­i­ties, has been the Porirua boy’s men­tor for three years as part of the Big Buddy or­gan­i­sa­tion that vets and matches men­tors with fa­ther­less boys.

There a 79 matches in the Welling­ton area but with 10 po­ten­tial men­tors go­ing through screen­ing there are still 26 boys wait­ing for big bud­dies so the pair are help­ing get the word out for more kind-hearted can­di­dates.

The two share an in­ter­est in comics and the su­per­hero uni­verse and hang out ev­ery week­end - Stevens also calls once a week to check how Jonathan is do­ing at school, as well as be­ing there to bar­rack at his rugby and hockey matches and do ac­tiv­i­ties like wood-chop­ping and go-kart­ing.

Since 1997 more than 700 matches have been cre­ated and Welling­ton area co-or­di­na­tor Dave Burcher says men who can spare two to three hours a week to share with a ‘Lit­tle Buddy’ should know they don’t have to con­sider them­selves per­fect to be­come a men­tor.

Jonathan’s mum, Laura Virgo, has been rais­ing him solo since he was born as his fa­ther ‘‘isn’t in the pic­ture’’ and said it was im­por­tant that men with some­thing pos­i­tive to of­fer don’t fear the chance to share it.

‘‘We feel re­ally lucky - we’ve hit the jack­pot with Kevin,’’ Laura said.

‘‘Just hav­ing a bloke in a boy’s life is good enough.

‘‘It’s a dif­fer­ent dy­namic and as much as I can pro­vide emo­tion­ally and fi­nan­cially, en­abling my son to be­come a de­cent hu­man be­ing, there are just some per­spec­tives, as a fe­male, that I can’t give him.

‘‘It’s dif­fi­cult to put in words, but men ap­proach things dif­fer­ently and that’s OK.

‘‘I’m lucky Jonathan is a great kid any­way, but it warms my heart to see how he is iden­ti­fy­ing how to be a young man be­cause that cor­ner­stone

‘‘There are just some per­spec­tives, as a fe­male, that I can't give him. ’’

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