Robert decided to become a volunteer mentor as he feels it was something he would have greatly benefitted from having as a young person, ‘I think the idea of mentoring is great, and something I would have liked growing up so I could see how it could benefit a young child,’

‘The training I received before becoming a mentor was great and helped me improve my own confidence as I gained clarity on the role of a mentor,’

Robert was matched with 11-year-old Ben, who was referred to intandem as a young person who was lacking in confidence and needed a positive male adult role model in his life as well as guidance on expressing his feelings in a healthier way.

‘We were both naturally quite nervous so for our first outing we started off slow with a game of Mario Kart and it didn’t take long for Ben to come out of his shell!' 

‘Now enjoy all kinds of activities together. As we are both quite active, I would say going swimming, playing football in the park and rewarding ourselves with ice cream afterwards would be our favourite things to do together,’

Since becoming Ben’s mentor there has been such an improvement in Ben both emotionally and in his relationship with members of his family.

‘Prior to Robert’s mentorship Ben’s typical emotional response would be anger as a defensive reaction to situations he was uncomfortable with, but now Ben is far more reflective and emotionally intelligent. As a result, Ben’s relationships with his family and peers have improved,’ – Aleisha Douglas, intandem Co-ordinator.

Without a doubt Robert’s involvement in Ben’s life as a mentor has made a huge difference to his future, particularly where handling challenging situations in a calm and considerate manner will arise.

‘If I were to give advice to anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer mentor like me it would be to do it! Being a mentor makes such a difference to a young person and has the bonus of being very fun!’