More volunteers needed to help those leaving care
A PROJECT which helps support young adults who have left the care system is looking for compassionate mentors to join the scheme.
Pure Insight helps to tackle loneliness and isolation among youngsters who have turned 16 and are no longer under the care of the local authority.
The project, for young people aged up to 25, matches the youngsters up with a mentor who can provide a vital support network while they learn to find their feet.
Since it came to Macclesfield in January this year, 23 youngsters have been matched with nine volunteers who are trained and supported to work with a young person on a one-to-one basis.
Now the charity is looking to recruit its second set of volunteers.
Sarah Sturmey, who set up the charity in Stockport in 2013, said: “We established at the beginning of 2013 as a direct response to the unmet needs of local care leavers who were telling us they felt lonely, isolated and worn out by not being adequately prepared or supported to deal with the challenges of living independently.
“Many care leavers do manage to build fulfilling and successful lives, although often a good 10 years behind their peers.
“Without exception, their resilience is partly the result of someone, at sometime, offering a helping hand or championing them.”
She added: “The government’s Keep on Caring Strategy (2016) fed back the views of care leavers nationally. They reported that leaving care still felt like a ‘cliff-edge’, where they were suddenly responsible for managing budgets, running a home; and maintaining their participation in education or work on their own – with insufficient preparation for these challenges.
“But overwhelmingly, the biggest issue raised by care leavers was one of isolation and loneliness; and the difficulty of navigating their way through their late teens and early twenties without a strong and stable social network to support them.”
She added: “If you are a kind compassionate human being and have some regular time to dedicate to a local young person, we can provide the rest.”
An information day is being held on Monday, July 17, from 6pm until 8.30pm at Airbag International Ltd, Viking Way, Congleton.
Mentor training will begin in September for 10 weeks. Mentors must commit to a minimum of two years.
Volunteers at Macclesfield’s Pure Insight have helped 23 young people since it was set up in January