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Youth charity XLP launches national mentoring project

Churches can have a major impact on the lives of vulnerable young people through mentoring, believes XLP founder Patrick Regan ...

Churches can have a major impact on the lives of vulnerable young people through mentoring, believes XLP founder Patrick Regan ...

Regan, OBE and chief executive at XLP, says: “We are excited to announce the launch of XL Mentoring National this spring. Across the UK, in villages, towns and cities, vulnerable young people and their families are struggling with difficult circumstances including family breakdown, poverty, drugs and crime without any consistent support in their lives, often leading young people to drop out of school. 

"In fact, 31% of NEETs (young people not in employment, education or training) did not have someone to talk to about their problems while they were growing up, according to the 2013 Princes Trust Youth Index.  

"Just this week, I chatted to a single mother and her son Samuel, whose lives have been transformed through their relationship with an XLP mentor. I heard and felt the hope they now had for the future.  Samuel’s mother, Veronica, spoke movingly about the way in which the mentor’s presence in her son’s life has really taken the pressure off her. 

"She is reassured by the fact that there is someone else who is committed to seeing Samuel excel at school and make positive lifestyle choices. I was struck by her words, ‘it’s a whole new world for us’.

"We want young people and their families all over the country to experience this support – that’s why we are launching XLM National. We will equip churches to offer support to struggling young people in their communities through an XL-Mentoring project. Mentoring Coordinators in each church will recruit, train, monitor and supervise volunteer mentors sourced from the local community.  

"There are no quick fixes – with almost 1 million young people unemployed at present [TUC 2013], it can be hard to see hope for the future. This family’s situation didn’t change overnight as a result of a mentor coming into their life either. But the fact that someone has committed to working with them to help them overcome their challenges means they feel able to move forward. 

"We’ve seen countless families and young people overcome the challenges in their life by drawing on strength they previously never felt they had – strength that is unlocked when someone comes alongside them to provide committed support.”

Les Isaac OBE, CEO and Founder of the Ascension Trust added his support, saying: “I'm always excited and thrilled about the work of XLP. I believe that their work with young people is having a significant impact. When churches get involved with XLP mentoring, they are able to extend their contribution to the life of a young person.”

Find out more at www.xlm.org.uk

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