Can you help to improve the life of a child?

Children 1st is calling on people living on Bute to take part in their mentoring scheme for young people.
Children 1st is calling on people living on Bute to take part in their mentoring scheme for young people.

A national mentoring scheme is appealing for volunteers on Bute to make a positive difference to the life of a child who has faced difficulties.

Children 1st’s intandem project, part of the national intandem programme funded by the Scottish Government, involves 12 other charities and community organisations. It aims to provide one to one mentors for children looked after at home.

Maggie Farrell, local mentor co-ordinator , highlighted the benefits of taking part in this scheme.

She said: “For many, mentoring brings with it a shared sense of community responsibility and the recognition that we all need role models in life.

“It is easy to spend your evenings and weekends catching up on housework and box sets. What if you actually made a tiny difference to someone else’s life, what if you learned how to care and value someone whose personal needs and choices have been side-lined or neglected? What if you in turn gained more confidence and sense of purpose?

“The mentoring scheme is about providing a trusted adult in that child’s life. It’s really about supporting the child to achieve more.

“Currently we have only go two mentors on Bute. We would like to have six. So we are looking to get another four on the island at least.

“It’s finding people who are passionate about children’s rights and who want to contribute something to the community and feel they can make a difference.

“It’s really rewarding to be a trusted adult in a young person’s life and to see the child develop trust and new skills.”

The mentoring scheme will benefit children whose families have been allocated a social worker. Maggie added: “It’s sometimes through no fault of the parent. It could be to do with poverty or losing their job. It’s quite often just they have not been coping.

“Domestic violence, addiction and mental health can often lead to neglect. Sometimes when a child has been on the child protection register they have maybe not been taking part in the community and become very isolated. So it’s really about providing something that wont let them down. You can give them skills, give them confidence.

“As a mentor you would take the child out once a week and nurture their talents. If they see they have got a skill to share and want to give back to their community then they would get more involved.”

Maggie believes that people living on Bute are perfect for this mentoring scheme.

She said: “Rothesay has one of the highest number of foster carers per head of population which is remarkable for such a small town.

“I think the people in Rothesay are really protective of each other and very caring. So I think they especially will respond to this because they care about each other.

“People want children to do well on Bute. They want kids to have a good start and have the experiences that other children are having.”

For more information about becoming a mentor, go to -