New mentoring scheme to protect young people from life of crime

Dave and Penny Hynds, leaders of ROC WSM.

Dave and Penny Hynds, leaders of ROC WSM. - Credit: Shane Dean

Young people and families who are at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity will be mentored under a new scheme by ROC WSM.

The charity has launched the Young Persons Mentoring Scheme aimed at helping young people aged between five and 17 to make positive choices.

Weston is the latest town to join the 80-plus areas across Britain which are seeing extraordinary cuts in crime and boosts in kindness after taking up the unique Redeeming Our Communities (ROC UK) programme. 

The mentoring scheme will boost the self-esteem, confidence and resilience of the young people.

ROC WSM leaders Dave and Penny Hynds said: “We believe that stronger families produce stronger and healthier communities and that with the support of a ROC Mentor, young people and their families can reach their true potential and flourish. 

“Our volunteer mentors are fully trained and drawn from across the local area, bringing with them a wealth of skills, knowledge and life experience and all are passionate about making a difference in their community.

“This scheme will give improved confidence and self-esteem for families and young people, greater resilience and to be better engaged in their community.”

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Prospective mentors receive 14 hours of initial training, with topics including the COACH mentoring model, action planning, boundaries, safeguarding and understanding healthy families, together with ongoing training and support. 

The modern-day Good Samaritan project ROC UK charity came to Weston 12 months ago and has already been bringing positive changes with nine different projects underway or ready to go.

Projects have started to reduce loneliness and isolation, help with anger management, to support those struggling to pay for food and bills and to cut crime.

There were thousands of acts of kindness during the pandemic, with volunteers delivering shopping, collecting prescriptions and providing telephone support to help those in need with ongoing initiatives such as tele mentoring.

ROC WSM has plans to offer further financial help for residents, providing food clubs and a community fridge, and projects to stop low level crime and run free events to build hope.

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