Youngsters to use experience of homelessness to help others

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Young people who battled homelessness will now help others tackle difficult issues after taking part in new courses.

Six youngsters took part in a peer-mentoring course, run by Kirklees Council and The Base, which offers advice and help to young people.

The course aimed to raise awareness and understanding of issues including safeguarding, child protection, alcohol and drug abuse and sexual health.

After completing the course, the youngsters received a diploma in Peer Mentoring and will now use their new skills to deliver their own sessions to year 10 and 11 pupils across Kirklees.

Jacqui Gedman, director of Economy, Skills and the Environment at the council, said: “The first thing that struck me about the Peer Mentoring educational programme is how extraordinary changes can come from extraordinary people and partnerships.

“Doing well in education is challenging enough when someone has a family structure; support and the ‘basics’ like housing, food and heating. Imagine not having any of that and then finding the motivation, pride and persistence to achieve an educational aspiration like the Peer Mentors have.

“The success of the Peer Mentor programme proves that our New Council vision can spearhead change by supporting individuals and communities to do more for themselves and each other, protecting and empowering vulnerable people and collaborating with others.”

The young mentors will talk about their personal experiences and challenges to help other young people avoid similar situations.

To celebrate their achievements each youngster was given with a certificate of achievement a meal in a local restaurant.