Search on for older siblings

July 1, 2022 BY

Searching for mentors: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia CEO, Mark Watt. Photo: SUPPLIED

YOUTH mentoring organisation Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia is putting the call out for Ballarat based mentors and volunteers to join their ranks.

With roles to fill for one-on-one and group capacities, BBBS CEO Mark Watt said the group’s mentee intake has expanded following COVID-19.

“The mental health of young people has really suffered through the pandemic and into this year,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of disconnection, isolation and anxiety and with the strain on families, we really need to boost our number of mentors.

“We’ve got a lot of great mentors but given the demand, we really need to reach out to the community for help on this one.

“We’re looking for people from their late 20s and up who can connect with young kids, take them places, talk with them, just be there, really.”

The Ballarat branch is seeking five to 10 mentors to enlist for 12-month commitments to maintain weekly contact and support with their mentees.

Volunteer roles would include assisting with fundraisers and events like BBBS’s gravel bike ride at Creswick last month.

Mr Watt said there is a particular need for male mentors to take part in their Men2B program, which emphasises the kids’ developments into manhood.

“A lot of the kids we have are in need of a male role model specifically so there’s definitely a gap there that we’re looking to fill,” he said.

“Men2B is very much activities-based, but it discusses a lot of life issues with them and provides that level of role modelling for our boys.”

“We’re looking at growing out a new phase with the program, which is a relatively new initiative, to increase what we do in Ballarat specifically.”

To volunteer or become a mentor, contact BBBS Ballarat’s mentoring coordinator Jodie Downing or visit bigbrothersbigsisters.org.au.