Luke Anslow, 27, has been a peer mentor with our Young People’s Service since 2018.
He says: “I just wanted to give something back. I feel like I’ve been quite lucky in my life, I’ve had a lot of opportunities and I liked the idea of just being able to pass things on and help people who might not be as lucky as I am.
“I thought this was a nice way to do it and help build young people up. With everyone I’ve mentored, you can see their confidence start to grow and you can see them open up.”
Luke, who works part time for the Department of Education in Newcastle Civic Centre, lives in Low Fell, Gateshead and volunteers on a weekly basis with our Young People’s Service, mentoring young people who perhaps lack confidence or who have difficulty forming friendships.
“I like to put the ball in their court and find out what their goals are, what their interests are and encourage them to try new things. For example, if they wanted to get into boxing I would help them find a club, or it might just be going for a coffee.
“It’s about giving them that time once a week to really focus on them, just having someone to talk to them and ask them about their day with no agenda.”
In May Luke, who used to attend Park View Community School in Chester-le-Street, is taking on our Hadrian’s Wall – Virtual Challenge, but whereas lots of people are doing the distance elsewhere in the region, Luke is walking the actual Roman wall – all 73 miles of it!
He said: “It will be the first time I have done a long distance walk before, although I have done Snowdon and Ben Nevis, so this will be quite new, walking a few days on the trot will be quite different. I should think I’ll be relying on Mars Bars and Snickers to get me through. But when you know you’re doing something for such a great charity it really enhances the experience.
“I’ve been involved with Children North East for quite a while now and all of the staff I work with are really nice people and I thought I wanted to give back to them as well as the babies, children and young people that get supported.”