Volunteer mentors meet with a young person on a regular basis usually fortnightly for two to six hours to do fun activities that they will enjoy together. Telephone, text or email contact continues during the week.
The idea is that a strong bond is created and a young person can get support to help with every day issues that are just part of growing up.
The Pillars mentoring coordinator will meet with the young person and find out about what they like to do eg. sports, surfing, art, fishing and many, many more. She will then find a volunteer mentor with the same or similar interests.
When the right mentor has been found, the mentoring coordinator will discuss this with the young person. If they agree, the mentoring coordinator will introduce the mentor to them and the parent / caregiver in the home of the young person - and the mentoring begins!
For young people you need to be 5-18 years, living in Christchurch or South Auckland and have a parent in prison to be part of the programme. Your parent caregiver needs to give consent and agree to ongoing contact with a Pillars staff member during the time of the mentoring.
Volunteer mentors are checked thoroughly to make sure they are of good character and that young people will be supported well during the activities. They do not have to have any qualifications, just be themselves. They are trained and supported by Pillars during the time of the programme.
All children and young people need a positive relationship with a caring person. This is mostly true if you have a parent in prison. It is not easy dealing with the imprisonment of a father or mother and wondering what the future may bring.
Our goal is that children and young people will have a real hope for their future.