Volunteers sought to put vulnerable children first

Do you want to support some of Campbeltown's most vulnerable children?

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Which adults did you look up to when you were a child?

Who did you go to for advice when you did not want to talk to your parents?

If you think you could be that inspirational adult in a vulnerable Campbeltown child’s life, a unique national mentoring scheme is appealing for your help.

Children 1st, Scotland’s National Children’s Charity, is one of 13 organisations from across Scotland offering weekly mentoring to ‘looked after children’.

This is part of the Scottish Government’s initiative ‘intandem’ – the first ever national mentoring scheme for this particularly vulnerable group.

A ‘looked after child’ is described as one who lives at home but who legally requires intervention from the local authority to ensure their safety, well-being and protection from harm.

Children 1st will provide the service across Argyll and Bute, beginning in Campbeltown this month.

Maggie Farrell, mentor coordinator, said: ‘For many reasons, but often because of traumatic events in their parents’ lives, some children are not getting their physical, material or emotional needs met and many directly witness or live with the impact of addiction, domestic violence and serious mental illness.

‘A weekly mentor can offer a listening ear, a new perspective and fantastic opportunities to gain new skills and experiences which all help build children’s sense of independence and belonging.’

Mentors in other areas in Scotland have said that they get as much from mentoring as the children do, with one commenting: ‘In only two to three hours a week, I can see the difference I am making.

‘It is very satisfying to see a child trying something new, having similar opportunities to their peers and beginning to grow in trust and confidence.’

Another said: ‘We’ve all had role models in our lives if we think back. You gain enormous skill and self-worth from knowing that someone believes you matter.

‘Being consistent and making a connection can have a tremendously positive influence.’

To find out more, email Maggie Farrell at maggie.farrell@children1st.org.uk