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Playlists, hula hoops and skateboarding

09 March 2022
Verity Mace

Verity Mace is a relatively new mentor, having joined Presbyterian Support towards the end of 2021, and her relationship with Emma* (10) is sparkling.

Verity recently returned to New Zealand, having lived overseas for 16 years in Dubai and Sri Lanka. Now married with children, chickens and a vege garden, Verity is studying towards a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Studies. It was the perfect time to become a mentor and for Emma, who lives with her grandmother, having someone in her life who can spend quality, one-on-one time with her, is paying dividends.

We asked Verity what it’s like to be a mentor.

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

I wanted to do something with young people and understand how they function in the world. I have worked for Shout UK, a mental health organisation that works with youth as I feel for young people as they deal with issues. I want to help them and I enjoy being around young people.

What does mentoring involve?

We meet up each week, usually for between 1½ and three hours, depending on what we do and what the weather is like. The first time we met we took a hula hoop and skateboard to a local school (during the school holidays) and we’ve created a playlist together so that’s what Emma will play in the car when we’re driving somewhere together. We’ve been body boarding at New Brighton beach and we’ve been to the library and an op shop.

What was it like in the early days before you knew each other well?

Initially when we met, it was about finding out about each other, what we like and what we enjoy. We’re starting to get to know each other now. We enjoy listening to music, sharing jokes and enjoying each other’s company. It’s nice, playful and fun and we’ve definitely bonded over music. I get a bit of a window into a 10-year-old’s life.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to become a mentor?

Make sure you have the time and energy and don’t underestimate how much you’ll get for being a mentor and spending time with a young person.

Support our work

Our mentors do incredible work. They give an enormous amount of time and energy, inspiring a young person with hope for the future. Will you support them by making a donation? We would be truly grateful for your generosity.

Becoming a mentor

If you would like more information about being a mentor, what is involved, how you will be helping a young person reach their potential please visit here.

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