Chloe Rutherford from Cramlington has been one of Children North East’s brilliant Peer Mentors for two years. The service matches young people with a trained volunteer who will help them to look at their difficulties and helps them to come up with solutions to their problems.
Chloe spoke to us about why she wanted to work with young people in the region and what she gets out of the experience.
After dealing with issues of my own I wanted to use my experience to somehow guide young people through their experiences and show them that things can get better. Since being young I have helped people when needed and I grew up in a chaotic family.
A few years ago when looking at my life and my aspirations I realised it was to work with young people so I looked into volunteering in the area and Children North East jumped out at me.
“They flourish before your eyes”
To be a peer mentor is to give a small amount of your time weekly to meet with a young person over a couple of months to help them reach some goals that they want to work on.
The young person can come from any background and may have some additional needs. You can do activities with the young person to build a rapport with them and guide them with issues they may be experiencing in life.
My most rewarding experience is to see how much the young person grows in a short amount of time you are mentoring them. They flourish before your eyes and the feeling that you have contributed to that is very rewarding.
“You learn a lot about yourself”
With anything you do it brings challenges and mentoring can definitely have its challenges. This may come from the young person not wishing to part take in the mentoring, or the issues that they could be experiencing might not be in your comfort zone.
With that being said, this for me brings more passion to the mentoring and I strive off it. You are always supported with any challenge you experience.
The main thing I get out of being a mentor is confidence and achievement. Just by spending a couple of hours of my own time to help someone else and the impact that can have is something that will stay with me for life. Mentoring has a very positive impact for the young person but you also learn a lot about your self that you would never expect or get from anything else.