Big Brother Big Sister, Foróige’s mentoring programme, is coming to Mallow. In 2008, Deirdre Foley, School Completion Coordinator for North Cork, established a very successful school-based Big Brother Big Sister programme in Davis College. Having seen the benefits of the programme, Deirdre felt that the time was right to link with Foróige to establish a community Big Brother Big Sister programme in the town.

Big Brother Big Sister is based on the idea of a friendship between a young person and an adult volunteer. The volunteer is asked to meet the young person for one hour a week and to do something fun from watching GAA matches, playing soccer, going to the cinema or doing their nails.

The BBBS programme has been running in Cork city since 2007. According to Caroline Bourke who has been a volunteer for the last two years, “I wanted to work with a young person to help them to reach their goals and dreams. It’s not all about taking in this life, it’s important to give something back. Taking a few hours out every week to volunteer with Big Brother Big Sister seemed the ideal way to do this.”

Caroline was matched up to Shannon. The two hit it off from the start and have built up a strong friendship. “I’ve made a new friend and I know Caroline and I will be friends for life,” says Shannon. They meet every week for an hour or two and do lots of different things together like going to the cinema, going for dinner or going shopping. Big Brother Big Sister is looking for men and women to volunteer in Mallow, to get involved in this fantastic programme and to start working with the young person in September. It’s a really easy and flexible way to volunteer and the time commitment is one to two hours once a week. If you are interested in finding out more, check out the Big Brother Big Sister website or contact Brenda on 086 8513347.