Our Newcastle Youth Link Project is supported by Children in Need and players of People’s Postcode Lottery.  This Children in Need day, we wanted to show you how much your support helps young people across the city.

Robson Steele, aged 21 and a recent graduate, has been a Peer Mentor for just over a year.  In this time he has supported two young people; here he tells us about what it’s been like as a Peer Mentor.

Why did you become a peer mentor?

I became a mentor because I loved the idea of helping other young people and being a positive role model.

How did you feel about working with the young person you were paired with?

I have loved working with two mentees over the last year.  It’s been really rewarding seeing them both increase in confidence and come out of their shells.

What kind of activities did you do with the young person?

For the first few sessions, I took Ben* for a kick about so we could get to know each other and find out what activities he would like to do in the future.  Since then we have been to different restaurants, the cinema and a museum, which have all been exciting and useful in their own way.

Why did the young person need a Peer Mentor?

Ben was referred to Youth Link because he lacked confidence talking to people and wouldn’t access public transport by himself which made him quite isolated.  As part of the support, we travelled to the activities by bus and metro, which helped Ben gain confidence in travelling by himself.  Gradually Ben became more chatty and outgoing, and now attends the FAB Group here at Children North East as well as taking up other hobbies.

How do you think being a peer mentor has helped you in your life and work?

I’ve found being a Peer Mentor has been a very rewarding process which has helped me increase in confidence too.  It has also improved my time management and organisation skills.

Since being a Peer Mentor, I am now a Youth Worker within Children North East supporting the Drop-Ins and the Bus Buddies Project.

I would definitely encourage other young people to become Peer Mentors – knowing you’re helping change someone’s life for the better is priceless!

*Names have been changed for safeguarding reasons