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Who are the young people we support?

Our youth mentoring program supports young people in need between the ages of 7-20 in Western Melbourne, who find themselves facing barriers to inclusion and participation, and have current or past involvement with Child Protection.

These young people benefit from being matched with a positive role model, to provide support and social connections in their life.

Through the mentoring program young people are provided with opportunities and experiences that help build and nurture the skills, confidence, and resilience they need to thrive.

The unfortunate reality is that many young Victorians are struggling with issues related to loneliness, depression and stress.

A recent report by VicHealth showed that:

  • Loneliness and social isolation as one of the fastest-growing health risks to young Australians
  • One in four young Victorians reports not being able to get social support when they need it, and one in eight reports experiencing high levels of loneliness
  • Over 75 per cent of serious mental health problems start before the age of 25
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst young Australians, with around 350 young people taking their own lives every year.
  • For every youth suicide, there are 100-200 more attempts.

We believe that these figures are unacceptable and that Victoria’s young people deserve to live a healthy, happy life with positive mental health and wellbeing.

Which is why our one-to-one youth mentoring program is specifically designed to help empower our young people develop the skills, confidence, and resilience they need to thrive.

Childhood to adolescence is a time of significant change and development in a young person’s life. Unfortunately, too many children and young people struggle with mental health, isolation and loneliness, often as a result of factors way out of their control. These issues often manifest in a variety of ways that prevent them from achieving their full potential.

Youth mentoring helps break this cycle, by connecting young people with a positive role model, who they can trust to provide social support, friendship and encouragement.

With the support of a mentor, our young people have the space and security to develop that all-important sense of security and belonging, empowering them to begin identifying and communicating their own needs and feelings. By supporting these important life skills, young people can begin to flourish and thrive in their lives.

Every day we see the positive influence mentoring has and we’re very happy to report that many of our young people say they have more self-esteem, resourcefulness and confidence after being involved in our program.

Can you be the spark of change in a young person’s life?

At Sparkways, we believe in taking a collaborative and evidence-based approach. Our one-to-one mentoring program focuses on the individual needs of each young person, to help them build the confidence, resilience and life skills to contribute to and grow and thrive with their community.

One-to-one mentoring is all about forming meaningful, trusting connections between mentees and mentors.

The program is made up of fortnightly one-to-one catch ups, with a short phone call on the weeks that you don't catch up in person, over a 12 month period. During this time, our young people are supported to set goals, try out new things and, most importantly, have fun.

Matches are carefully made according to the interests, hobbies, and location of both the mentor and young person.

TRY Mentoring Activity Graduation Day 2888

Can you be the spark of change in a young person’s life?