We had another article in the Penrith community newspaper this week promoting the mentoring program. It was superbly written, yet I only received two phone calls as a result of the article in an area with a population of 160,000! It will be interesting to see if I have any more. Both callers were men – and we still need more men – but both were uncertain if they would be able to get off work to participate. I offered to speak to employers, as I have all the global research showing how mentors benefit so much from a positive mentoring relationship and the subsequent spin-off for the company/organisation/business they are working for. This is going to be an important issue to keep throwing into the mix when youth mentoring is discussed in any circles.

I contacted a local church situated near the one school where we hope to launch a program shortly and popped around to visit the Pastor. He was very receptive to the idea of approaching a few people in his congregation to explore the possibility of them becoming GR8 MATES mentors. If he can encourage 4 or 5 folk to participate, we will be well on our way to having the ideal number for this new program. Tomorrow I will attempt to visit two more local churches, one recommended by the Pastor and see what I can do. This particular Pastor is also a member of a gathering of local church ministers who meet every couple of months. I asked if I could have 10 minutes at one of these meetings to talk about the program. This looks likely to happen.

The first night of training for the program in the Penrith school is due to start on the 18 February. I met with the Principal today and we agreed to push ahead even if we don’t have the full quota of mentors. Better to start small and then hope that, once the program is up and running, the momentum will pick up, mentors will spread the word amongst their networks and we will be able to recruit more effectively.

A new local community newspaper is running an article in the Hawkesbury area tomorrow. Again, I will be interested to see if there are any phone calls, though I think I will be visiting a couple more churches in that area early next week ! The mentor training in that area starts on the 26th February, so there is a little more time, but not much – great to have a magic wand?!!! 🙂