grandmentors filmno jeremy islington

Yet Filmon and Jeremy have far from a typical relationship. The two met in October through the “Grandmentors Islington” scheme. Established in 2009 by charity Volunteering Matters, based over the border in Hackney, Grandmentors gives support and advice to teens who have recently left the care system and are “not in employment, education or training” (NEET).

The idea is to help them solve their own problems by giving them access to someone else’s life experience: they are assigned an older mentor to help them tackle life’s problems.

The programme has been quite the success story so far, receiving a “highly commended” award at the Children and Young People Now awards last year. Statistics show while 71 per cent of young people are NEET when referred to the programme, just 19pc are NEET when they leave.

“The long-term goal is to help vulnerable teens get on their feet and on the road to success,” says Verna Chung, regional manager for Volunteering Matters.

“For some of these young people it’s been really life-changing.”

It’s access to this kind of advice that drove Filmon, from Essex Road, Canonbury, to enlist in the programme.

“My social worker suggested I get a mentor,” he said, “and I agreed I’d give Grandmentors a shot. I’m glad I did because Jeremy’s such a nice guy.”


Click the link below to be redirected to the Islington Gazette where you can read the rest of this article.

Read Article