A CHARITABLE organisation set up in Peebles four years ago to offer mentoring and support to children in Tweeddale has received an accolade, writes Andrew Keddie.
The Peeblesshire Youth Trust (PYT) has won the YMCA’s Working Towards Excellence award which recognises the group’s contribution in transforming the lives of youngsters who lack confidence and self-esteem.
PYT co-ordinator Angie Preston said: “We are delighted to accept an award which underlines the importance of the work we do in our community.
“Since we started, 47 children have benefited from our mentoring and 150 families from our wider variety of support. Initially, we only covered Peebles, but we now work in partnership with more organisations and schools, and have expanded across Peeblesshire.”
However, Ms Preston stressed the need for more volunteers to come forward to strengthen the current bank of 22 mentors.
“Because of an increase in demand, we require more adult volunteers in order to keep developing and currently seek people who can support and encourage a young person by spending some regular time with them,” she told us.
“No particular skills are required other than life experience, the ability to be a good listener and being a positive role model. Training and full support are given so people can fulfil their volunteer role with confidence.”
Tom McPherson, external assessor working on behalf of the YMCA, told us: “The PYT has showed itself to be a robust organisation with an excellent structure in place to secure its long-term future. The assessors were impressed by the enthusiasm, motivation and professionalism of staff and the considerable experience they possessed in the field.”
A PYT volunteer added: “It has been a very rewarding experience to mentor young people and to see them gain in confidence as they make their way in the world.”
Anyone wishing to become a volunteer mentor should contact Lindsay Mann on 07590 778 902 or go to www.peeblesshireyouthtrust.org