“Hi I’m Becca and I’m 16,
About a year ago I was finding life really hard. School was tough, I had been the victim of assault and people were bullying me over social media. It was really horrible; they were saying really nasty things about me and threatening to post some pictures too. I couldn’t talk to mum about it because her and dad were arguing all the time. It felt like me and my brother were stuck in the middle and I didn’t want to have to choose who to live with.
It felt like there was nowhere safe for me – home was a nightmare and school was even worse. At one point I thought it would probably just be easier if I wasn’t around anymore, I even got to the point of trying to take an overdose of pills but I’m glad now that I didn’t go through with it.
I started going to meetings with Children and Young People Services (CYPS) and they suggested I apply to The Door for a mentor. It was a relief to know there would be someone who wanted to listen to my story, who would just be interested in the way I was feeling, without bringing their own stuff to the conversation. From the moment I met Sally, my mentor we just clicked together. She was like a best friend and a mum and a favourite teacher all rolled into one.
One week I had to go to a meeting where there were loads of people talking about what was going to happen to me. I was scared about what might happen to me but The Door came with me. Having them there helped me be honest about what I felt and what I wanted, and because I knew Sally would be with me into the future I felt ok. I felt like I found my voice in that meeting; talking to people about what I wanted, rather than what was horrible, became easier and easier.
Sally and The Door helped me grow in confidence so much – I’ve been helping out with some of their fundraising events which has meant standing in front of loads of people. I’d have been so scared to do that in the past, but now I know I can do it because I’m in control.
The Door even talked to my school about challenging my bullies and I’ve even met with some of them face to face using a thing called Restorative Justice. It’s meant I’ve got my friends back and feel like I can be part of normal school life again.
Sally is helping me focus on working towards my GCSEs, and getting a place at college lined up for next year. With her help I can see a new future for me now, which isn’t about what happened before.
The Door and Sally have helped me so much but I know there’s still work to do – sometimes the littlest thing makes me upset and I know I need to get stronger in dealing with things outside of my control, but Sally is going to help me with that next, and I know that with the help of The Door I can grow even more. I’m even looking forward to it”.
The Door’s mentoring programme matches volunteers from the community with young people like Becca to help them overcome challenges in their life and move forward.
Volunteers like Sally give an hour or two per week at a time suitable for them, building a long-term “professional friendship” with their mentee over several months. Initial Training for new mentors and ongoing training and support is provided by The Door’s expert team thanks to grants from BBC Children in Need and the Summerfield Trust.
A £10 monthly donation could help a young person like Becca get the support from a mentor like Sally.