Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Guelph are facing a shortage of male mentors for their group and one-on-one mentorship programs.
In a news release, BBBSG caseworker Andrea Azevedo said, “There are currently 83 male youths on a list waiting to be matched with an adult male mentor. That number is expected to rise well above 100 once the 2022-2023 school year begins.”
Of the 79 applicants the organization has received since January, only 9 (11 per cent) have identified themselves as male.
Executive Director Michael Treadgold said that means boys are having to wait longer to be paired with a big brother.
“Young boys who are looking to come into the Big Brothers Big Sisters program are waiting an average of 2 to 3 times longer than young girls in the community,” said Treadgold. “At the moment, the children in our community who are in great need of a mentor are young boys.”
Treadgold said interest and demand for the one-on-one mentor program has led to an increase in the demand for male mentors.
“We are in the process of taking on new volunteers, screening and matching in preparation of a really busy school year this September,” said Treadgold. “We have the capacity to process new male volunteers now and have them matched as soon as this fall.”
Treadgold went on to say with the need for male volunteers at an all-time high and youth recovering from mental health
strains and social isolation caused by the pandemic, BBBSG needs support from the community to ensure that all young males on the waiting list get the guidance and support they need.
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