AN award-winning mentoring programme is coming to Bradford to help young people aged 16-24 who are out of employment, education or training.

Grandmentors, a programme created by national charity Volunteering Matters, which already runs in nine areas across the UK, is on the look out for volunteers above 25 from the district.

Working in partnership with the Bradford For Everyone programme, which is led by the Stronger Communities team at Bradford Council, Grandmentors aims to have a positive impact on the life chances of young people by matching them with an older volunteer mentor who will provide guidance and act as a positive role model.

Both will meet weekly to work towards goals they have planned together and help the young person become better equipped to enter employment or education, raising their aspirations, increasing self-confidence and connecting them to the local community.

Jane Murphy, Volunteer Manager at Volunteering Matters, said: “Our Grandmentors projects in other areas have had a significant impact on the lives of young people we hope to see that being replicated in Bradford, where 30.2 % of the population is aged 20 and under, making it the ‘youngest’ city in the UK.

"There are many young people in Bradford who could really benefit from the skills and life experiences of an older volunteer, so we’re appealing for anyone working with young people not in work, education or training to speak to us about making referrals.

"We’re also looking for people aged 25 and over, who feel they have the skills to mentor a young person, to come forward.”

Bishop Toby, Chair of the Stronger Communities Partnership, said: “We are delighted that this programme is coming to Bradford. Having an older mentor can make a huge difference to a young person’s goals and aspirations.

"We are grateful to those who have already signed up to be mentors and encourage more to come forward if they feel they have what it takes. We are happy to provide support.”

As well as being keen to give back to the community by sharing their life experience, Grandmentors need to be open-minded, patient, non-judgemental and willing to learn and develop their own skills.

Mentors receive initial and on-going training, individual support from a project officer, group support from other mentors and reimbursement of travel and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Around 15 volunteer mentors from a range of backgrounds, including teachers, youth workers and a chef, have already signed up and are ready to be trained, but more are still needed.

To find out more about volunteering as a mentor or to refer a young person to the service, please contact Jane Murphy on 07377 692422, or visit