• This year we had just one clear nominee for our Volunteer of the Year award: YPA Real Estate for what has been a truly amazing example of corporate social responsibility.

In 2016 Werribee Primary School identified 15 grade 5 boys that were in need of extra support and mentoring. These young people may have been experiencing difficulty making friends, having limited recreational opportunities, disengaging from school, having limited social skills and/or having low self-esteem which was impacting on their behaviour. TRY Mentoring and Werribee Primary School worked collaboratively and established a TRY Mentoring school based MITH group for these young boys.

James Antonio from YPA Real Estate had expressed interest in volunteering and this opportunity was a great fit for James and his team.  From the beginning of Term 2 2016 every Wednesday James, Rachelle, Kirsty and Sheridan from YPA Werribee took time out from their busy schedules to attend the primary school. They met with the group of boys for an hour to play sport and games, art and craft and build trusting and positive relationships with each of the boys. The program was for 12 months and the YPA team has been consistent and reliable every week. They have not missed a session and have spent individual and group time with all of the boys. They have all been enthusiastic in their approach and they all wanted to make a difference in young people’s lives. All four members have learned so much from the boys. The mentors have said that there is not a lot of conflict in the group and the boys have formed new friendships with their peers in the group. The mentors believe they have created trusting relationships with the boys and that they have all enjoyed having a group environment that is relaxed and is making a difference in their lives.

Kimberlea Green, Social Worker Werribee Primary School said…

The schools social worker has stated that the mentors have had a huge impact on the children’s overall wellbeing – she has applauded the informal way in which the mentors work as a team enabling all the boys to feel included, happy and build on their REAL skills. The social work also provided additional comments, “In the days leading up to Wednesday l, without a doubt, hear the words at least once “Are we still on for TRY Mentoring on Wednesday?” Every week the boys come with a smile and leave with an even bigger smile. I think the boys will be very sad once the group ends. James, Kirsty, Sheridan and Rachel have been an amazing support in our school community. They have committed themselves to Werribee Primary School for the past 12 months and we are indebted to them”