19 June 2015

Glenda Gilson and comedian Andrew Stanley kid around while taking teenagers, Ena Harrigan (16, from Rathmines) and Daniel Cullen (13, Gardener St, Dublin) under their wing for the launch of Foróige’s #BigBrotherBigSister campaign which encourages volunteers to become a role model and mentor to a young person.

The #BigBrotherBigSister campaign launched today, 18th of June, is calling on volunteers to become a ‘big brother’ or ‘big sister’ by giving up just two hours of their time per week to hang out with and provide a positive support to a teenager who has signed up to the programme. The basis of the campaign is centred on the fact 'you can't change the world, but you can change someone's world'.

Foróige is the leading youth organisation in Ireland which has been working with young people since 1952. The non-for-profit organisation enables young people to involve themselves consciously and actively in their own development and in the development of society.

The #BigBrotherBigSister campaign is affiliated to BBBS international programme that aims to support young people from 10 to 18 years of age, by pairing them up with someone who would take on the role of a big brother or sister offering mentoring, guidance and friendship.

Volunteers are asked to offer their ‘little brother or sister’ a helping hand through the minefield of adolescence and give them someone to chat and look up to. The time given by volunteers is on average just two hours per week and can often be as simple as catching a movie or playing a game of pool.

Speaking about the campaign Senior Youth Officer with BBBS, Jill Murray said: “We are really excited to launch our new #BigBrotherBigSister campaign. It’s amazing to think that by simply given up two hours of your week you can really help transform a young person’s life. We find that in most cases the volunteer gets just as much out of the meet-ups as the young person does and so it becomes mutually beneficial to both parties and most pairings become lifelong friends. The number of young people that come to us every year is growing hugely so we hope this campaign will encourage volunteers to sign up as a big brother or sister and help change a person’s life”.

Volunteers go through a vetting process and are trained before being matched up with a suitable little brother or sister. The volunteer will be facilitated to establish a supportive relationship with the young person, aimed at assisting them in their development and will receive ongoing support from a staff member for the duration of their involvement.

For further information or to register as a volunteer see www.foroige.ie/bbbs