Volunteer Mentor - Young Carers Young carers provide care to a family member, usually a parent or sibling who cannot look after themselves due to disability, mental or physical ill health or substance misuse. These young people are often very proud of their role, but they need help and support to access and achieve education. They want to enjoy hobbies and social activities in the same way as their peers. Recent research shows that up to one in five secondary school children may be a young carer. But many children’s caring responsibilities begin much earlier, some carers are just five or six years old. HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Caring for someone can be isolating, worrying and stressful and can take its toll on young carers’ life chances. Research has shown that harmful levels of caring can have a negative impact on relationships and on educational, mental and physical health outcomes. We have identified a number of young people in Merton who have or are at risk of having harmful/excessive caring responsibilities. We know from the young carers themselves that they want and need more emotional support. Our new mentoring project, launching this spring is designed to provide young carers aged from 10 to 17, with one-to-one support to build their confidence and raise their aspirations. We are looking for Volunteer Mentors for a period of 6-12 months. Meeting fortnightly you will develop a long-term relationship with a young carer and be a positive role model, helping them to develop their self-esteem and realise their academic, social and/or personal goals. You will research, plan and participate in mentoring activities with a young carer to broaden their interests and provide an opportunity to engage in fun activities in the local community and give them a break from their caring responsibilities. We are looking for reliable, committed and patient individuals who are empathetic to the needs of young carers, are good communicators and active listeners. You must be able to meet with your mentee for two hours once a fortnight for a minimum of 6-12 months. In return, you will gain experience working with young people, have the opportunity to help a young carer to build their confidence and achieve their goals, receive free training in mentoring and child protection and have the ongoing support of our Mentoring Co-ordinator. For Role Description click here For Application Form click here Notes To be considered for this role you must be able to attend a two-session evening training programme and complete Child Protection training online, attend quarterly review meetings with the Mentoring Coordinator and provide feedback after each mentoring session. You will also be required to undergo an enhanced DBS check. Carers Support Merton (CSM) is a well-established and respected charity in the London Borough of Merton with an ambitious programme of work to support promote and improve quality of life for unpaid carers from the age of 5 years.