A NEW movement to help create a brighter future for young people in Bedford, called Bedford Giving, is being launched and it needs the help of residents to succeed.
Bedford Giving is a collaboration of eight founding partners which have come together to create opportunities for young people in Bedford, to maximise their opportunities in life, by delivering new initiatives and bringing people and their expertise together.
The new movement has been born out of research involving more than 500 residents, including adults and young people, who were asked what they thought were the biggest challenges facing the town. The results were clear – the needs of young people were identified as the biggest concern. An urgent need for career mentors, people who can act as guides and role models, was called out as a top priority.
Bedford Giving Chair Kevin Bolt explained:
“We have listened to the community, and more importantly the voices of the young people of the borough. As a result, we are launching the Bedford Giving ‘movement’ with three fantastic programmes to help young people, especially those facing disadvantage, to develop their ambitions in order to thrive in the future.
“We are launching the first, a Volunteer Mentoring Programme for 13 to 15-year-olds to help them raise their career aspirations. But the whole ethos behind Bedford Giving is we can’t do this alone, we need people in the community to help Bedford’s younger generation. We’re looking for mentors of working age who young people will be able to relate to.
“You don’t have to be at the top of your profession, you could be starting out, but you will understand what you need to do to get a good start in life after school; be that through getting into work or finding a training or learning opportunity. Or you might be someone at the top of their game, who wants to share their knowledge and give something back to the communiuty.
“We’re looking for people to help develop young people unsure of their options who might otherwise slips through the cracks and end up not in education, employment, or training. Perhaps you would like to give something back by helping a young person find their way? Maybe like you were helped when you were younger? Please visit the Bedford Giving website to find out more about signing up to become a mentor.
“There are many reasons why you may want to get involved in mentoring. One of the often-overlooked elements is the benefit to the mentor themselves. It is such a rewarding thing to do, and you only need to commit to one meeting a month. It can also help your own development, by enhancing your leadership and inter-personal skills.”