Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person

Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person
Karen O'Grady

Reporter:

Karen O'Grady

Email:

news@midlandtribune.ie

Volunteering as a Big Brother or Big Sister is a wonderful opportunity to make a positive difference in a young person’s life in a simple yet powerful way.
Foróige established the Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) programme in 2001with the mission “To build successful mentoring relationships for all young people, who need and want them, contributing to better schools, brighter futures and stronger communities”. It now operates in 21 counties in Ireland. BBBS is an internationally renowned proven young mentoring programme. It is based on the idea that having a caring adult friend can help build positive characteristics in young people enabling them to have a positive sense of self and of their future, a commitment to learning, social competencies of making friends, planning, decision making, resisting negative behaviours and positive values of caring, honesty.
Our volunteers are adults aged 18 years and over from the community, that would like to make a difference in the life of a young person. It’s a great opportunity for them to enjoy the company of a young person, meet new people and try new things. The programme is operating nationally in both community and school settings.
Volunteers come from all backgrounds. They are asked to meet their ‘Little’ once a week, for an hour or two. The initial commitment is for one year. They build their friendship around enjoyable activities. We encourage mainly cost free activities, such as kicking football, listening or playing music, doing hair and make-up, and going fishing, etc. Every few weeks participants can carry out activities that incur a cost such as bowling or cinema and similar. BBBS will refund the volunteer the cost of these activities.
Training and ongoing support from Foróige staff is provided to all volunteers. The training is interactive and provides information on the programme and their role as a mentor.
BBBS engages in the development and education of young people in Ireland aged 10-18.
It uses a multi-pronged approach in its service provision which enables the programme to meet the developmental needs of young people in general, as well as focusing on vulnerable young people with specific needs. The programme encourages Foroiges’s purpose to be a part of the friendship between bigs & littles, which is to “enable young people to involve themselves consciously and actively in their own development and the development of society”. This purpose challenges and supports young people to involve themselves in:
• Developing their character and talents
• Thinking for themselves, reflecting on their actions and taking responsibility
• Having fun and making friends
• Building positive and helpful relationships
• Acquiring knowledge and skills for life
• Improving the community
Check out our website at: https://www.foroige.ie/
our-work/big-brother-big-sister/about-big-brother-big-sister For further details please contact, Carmel on 086 859 6879 or Mary on 086 047 1420 you can also email us on carmel.naughton@foroige.ie and mary.gaughan@foroige.ie

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