Business people have volunteered to act as mentors to help transform the lives of disadvantaged youngsters in Dorset.
The Dorset Chamber’s new Life Skills have created a new initiative, which provide mentors to offer guidance to young people in care.
The adults signed up to the scheme will undergo training, before being assigned to help a young person with life skills and business coaching. They will also be DBS checked.
Organisers praised business people for the overwhelming response to an appeal for mentors at a launch event.
Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “We had an incredible response which exceeded all expectations.
“It was inspirational to see so many busy people volunteer their own time to help make a difference to young people who have not had the best start in the life.
“We are very grateful to everyone involved and look forward to a very successful programme.”
A workshop was held at Merley House near Wimborne, which included talks by mentor Brian Townshend and Tom Trenowden, post-16 education officer at Bournemouth Poole and Christchurch Council, as well as Ansbury Guidance chief executive Nicola Newman.
Nicola said: “The life chances of young people in care and care leavers are significantly worse than for young people in general.
“We are looking forward to the training phase of the mentoring programme but there is still time for anyone interested to get involved.”
More than 20 people immediately expressed an interest in becoming mentors at the launch.
Dorset Chamber launched its Life Skills initiative at a ball earlier this year to mark its 70th anniversary.
Visit https://www.dorsetchamber.co.uk/about-us/dorset-chamber-life-skills/ for more details.