Network sponsors mentoring programme for disadvantaged children

Network sponsors mentoring programme for disadvantaged children

Network has committed to sponsor a young person to benefit from a 12-week mentoring programme through the new local social enterprise, Apollo.

Apollo provides critical interventions to Guernsey’s most disadvantaged young people. The voluntary service has developed Impact Mentoring, a programme based around child-led activities, including basketball, boxing, adventure walks, juggling, sea swimming and more. The aim is to help children from challenging backgrounds to receive support while having fun.

‘We’re delighted to be able to help this very worthy cause. Funding for initiatives like Apollo is always difficult to secure. When Apollo contacted us for help, our staff at Network agreed to help from our staff charity fund,’ said Ollie Goater, director at Network.

Young people are currently referred to Apollo by social services, charities, schools and directly from families. Typically referrals are 9-15 years of age and come from a variety of challenging backgrounds; children in care, under child protection, school refusers, and Youth Justice referrals.

Apollo was founded by Liam Doherty, who works in pastoral care at the Elizabeth College, and is a boxing coach and designated safeguarding lead at the Amalgamated Boys’ Club.

‘Receiving support on a one-to-one basis gives space and time for emotional support, which is often hard to come by in busy home and school settings, especially for disaffected and vulnerable young people,’ said Liam. 

‘I am very excited about the positive impact Apollo is making, but, as always, funding is a constraining issue. I’m incredibly grateful to businesses like Network for their support. We couldn’t do it without them.’ 

One parent, whose son has benefitted from sessions with Apollo, added: 'We would like to start by thanking Network Insurance for sponsoring these sessions with Apollo and Liam. It came at a significant time for our son who had been hospitalised for anorexia before Christmas.

'The fact that the mentoring sessions have provided our son with the foundational skills to be able to access weekly boxing sessions, and overcome his social anxiety to now attend on his own, has been transformative.'

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