A woman from Ballyclare recently completed her initial training to become a volunteer mentor with Barnardo’s Choices Family Support service.
Emma Steele has started volunteering with the charity and was awarded a certificate on completing her initial training.
Volunteers with the service provide support to young people aged 10 to 17, who have been referred to the service because of issues they are experiencing at home, at school, or in the community.
Choices Family Support Manager Dougie Tyler said: “We couldn’t provide the service we do without our volunteers. The volunteers are matched with a young person to help them work through issues with a view to preventing exclusion from school, further attention from the police or family breakdown.
“We are called Choices because we help young people to think through the choices they are making to go for more constructive options.
Praising the volunteers, he added: “It’s a big commitment from volunteers but it’s invaluable for the young people. It really means a lot that someone is giving up their own time to support them. Volunteers allow us to be more flexible in how we support young people and ultimately it means better results for children and young people which is the most important thing.”
Barnardo’s NI has around 400 volunteers across children’s services, fundraising and retail who give their time in many different ways to support the charity’s work. If you are interested in volunteering with the children’s charity in its 150th year and to find out more information and details of local vacancies, check out