AN award-winning mentoring programme is being launched in the district.

The Grandmentors scheme – which already successfully operates in nine other areas of the UK – supports young people aged 16 to 24 who are not in employment, education or training.

They are matched-up with a mentor, who helps the young person to be better equipped for the world of work and boosts their aspirations and self-confidence.

Behind the initiative is the Volunteering Matters charity, which will work in partnership with Bradford Council’s Bradford For Everyone programme – led by the Stronger Communities team.

Volunteer mentors, who should be aged 25-plus, are now being sought.

They need to live or work in the Bradford district, be open-minded, patient and non-judgmental, and willing to develop their own skills.

Initial and ongoing training and support is provided.

Travel and other out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

Volunteers can be from any background. Around 15 are already signed-up and ready to be trained – including teachers, youth workers and a chef.

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

“There are many young people in Bradford district 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 who feel they have the skills to mentor a young person to come forward.”

Bishop Toby Howarth, chairman of the Stronger Communities Partnership, welcomes the scheme.

He added: “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.”

For more details, call 07377 692422, email or visit