Feeling empty, unsupported, disconnected or lost even in a busy room of people.
The start of June, marks National Loneliness Week. No doubt the headlines will focus on the older sections of society, but at The Door we know that young people can often be the loneliest of all.
This has been further exacerbated by the pandemic. Young people that were used to attending school and seeing their friends were stuck at home on their own. Resorting to staying inside, staying on a computer, and staying out of their parents way. Even after they were done with their virtual lessons for the day they could not go out to see anybody. Young people were lonelier than ever before.
In applications for The Door’s mentoring services we saw a large spike in loneliness in young people. This is where Mentoring Gateway, The Door’s remote support service, came into its own.
Established in March 2020 Gateway matches young people with a trained mentor for a 20 minute chat every week.
Giving young people the opportunity to talk to a trained mentor on the phone or by zoom was paramount in combating the loneliness that young people experienced.
For many it was their only communication with somebody outside of their household each week.
Now, as we look forwards to a less restricted future Mentoring Gateway continues to be a vital part of The Door’s Intensive Support offer; accounting for almost a quarter of mentoring relationships taking place at any given time.
While we can support young people face to face; many young people choose the phone for their support. This shows just how much of a positive impact a simple phone call can have.
So this month as we remember that others are lonely, why not reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to for a while. You never know what positive impact your call may have.
And if you would like to be that friendly voice on the phone for a young person, why not sign up to become a mentoring gateway volunteer.
Mike – Mentoring Gateway Coordinator