What have been the most rewarding aspects of working with young people: Personally for me the most rewarding part has been the value that ReachOut provides to these kids and the visible difference it makes. This is the second year I am mentoring with the kids and to see the impact to their confidence and interactions is incredible. The way the lessons are structured have a lot of thought put into them to focus on key areas of the mentees development from mental ability to social interactions and communication skills.

The changes I have seen in my mentee with regards to confidence and self-control have been great. Even in the way he has opened up more to me of his own accord.

Anything you found challenging/difficult in your mentoring role: For me the most challenging part was not knowing if I was making a positive difference to my mentee when working with them. It can be difficult to gauge and at times difficult if your mentee is not responsive or receptive to conversation. I didn't want to hinder their progress but in the beginning I felt trying to connect was quite a challenge.

Do you think volunteering has helped develop new skills: I think mentoring teaches you a lot. For me I found I listened so much more and took time to understand situations which may not have an immediate solution but over the long term patience paid off. The mentees also taught me about resourcefulness; utilising what is to hand to create the outcome you are looking for.

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