How it works
Menslink’s Mentoring Program is where men who’ve survived their entry into the adult world provide support for young blokes – aged between 13 and 18 – who are still on their way there. Volunteer male mentors, from all walks of life, are introduced to the young men who come to our door needing a constructive influence in their lives, for one-to-one mentoring relationships. The role of a Menslink mentor is not that of a parent-like figure or counsellor, but rather a friend or guide – a sounding board sometimes – who will be understanding and non-judgemental.
Menslink conducts a matching process for the young blokes and volunteers in group settings designed to allow all participants to become more familiar with each other. The final choices of who will be their mentor are then made by the young men themselves. After this they will have a one to one friendship with their mentor on a regular and on-going basis. As well, Menslink organises and pays for (non-compulsory) monthly activities or events – such as kayaking, surfing, gallery tours, movies, rock climbing and camping. These are for both young blokes and the mentors.
Through these experiences we aim to build the resilience and confidence of young blokes, have them recognise the outcomes of choices they will make, and enhance their positive potential in all aspects of life.
As award-winning author Steve Biddulph puts it in his book, The New Manhood:
“Even the best fathers cannot raise their sons alone. Fathers need extra help from other men to do this properly. In tribal situations the whole male community got involved with the teenage boys, mentoring, training and initiating them. A father could count on all kinds of help, and boys could count on positive input – usually more relaxed and accepting than fathers manage to be. A boy in his mid to late teens needs other men to step in, who will teach him skills, give him a sense of worth and take him out beyond the family walls. In other words, he moves to a mentor. His own father may be a mentor to someone else’s son. Different from fathering, mentoring is an informing but less nurturing role, which in no way takes away or threatens the closeness of father and son.”
And remember, a good mentoring relationship involves trust and commitment. That’s why it’s important that you think about whether it’s right for you. Lots of young blokes and mentors have found it to be positive and rewarding – but you only get out of it what you put into it. Talk to us or sound it out with a parent or friend. If you like the idea we’re happy to have you on board.
All services at Menslink are free. There are no fees or charges. They’re completely confidential and are available to any young bloke aged between thirteen and eighteen.
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