Offaly volunteers reduce youth offending
Mentoring charity Le Chéile is looking for men and women all over Offaly and Laois to volunteer with teenagers at risk of offending or re-offending.
The charity is particularly urging more men to come forward to volunteer as mentors as while most young offenders are male, only a quarter of volunteers are men.
Mentoring works - Le Chéile has seen a 28% reduction in re-offending amongst its young people, according to a recent independent evaluation of its mentoring service. It also found that mentoring had significant impacts for young people over a wide range of areas, including self-confidence, hopefulness, communications, and engagement in positive activities.
Last year volunteers in the Midlands gave over 300 hours of mentoring to local young people or their parents.
Le Chéile’s mentors act as a friendly supportive adult to young people. Mentoring matches meet once a week to do activities or work on goals together, or sometime just meet for a chat. Volunteers come from all walks of life and bring different skills and experience to mentoring.
“For many young people, this is the first time they get this type of one-to-one support from an adult and this ‘One Good Adult’ makes a real difference. Our mentors too, have told us how rewarding volunteering is, and seeing their young person grow in confidence,” says CEO Anne Conroy.
Le Chéile is funded by Irish Youth Justice Services through the Probation Service, as part of Ireland’s European Structural and Investment Funds Programmes 2014-2020, which is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.
For more information on volunteering with Le Chéile, visit www.lecheile.ie.
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