Award-winning inter-generational mentoring programme launches in Midlothian

Thursday June 15th 2023

Grandmentors Midlothian Arlaine Barbour

(Arlaine Barbour, Project Manager, Volunteering Matters.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

National volunteering and social change charity Volunteering Matters, has received funding from the Midlothian Community Mental Health and Wellbeing fund, enabling the organisation to launch their Grandmentors programme in Midlothian for the first time.

Grandmentors recruits, trains, and supports volunteers, normally those aged 50+ or who have life experience and skills to share, and matches those Volunteer Mentors with young people who are care experienced or facing life challenges and barriers.

The programme, run by Volunteering Matters, enables trained and supported volunteer mentors to provide invaluable emotional, social, and practical guidance to young people aged 16-25. A Grandmentor will draw on their wealth of personal and professional experience and utilise the assets within a community to unlock the young person’s voice. With that voice, the mentor understands what the young person wants to achieve, what interests them, and how to potentially move forward in life.

The approach of Grandmentors aligns with the recommendations of “The Promise” that Scotland made to its care-experienced young people. Central to that approach is enabling lifelong, positive, and empowering relationships that enable young people to be listened to, heard, and responded to. This approach helps the wider community actively participate in that support.

Thanks to a £20k funding award from the Midlothian Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, which is matched by a private donor, Grandmentors will be able to support 20 young people in Midlothian over the coming year. Mentors will meet young people who are referred to the programme on a regular basis, providing them a listening ear, encouragement, and support with health and wellbeing, employment, education and training, housing, and finance outcomes.

Arlaine Barbour, Project Manager at Volunteering Matters, said: “ Since 2009, our Grandmentors programme has established successful delivery in over a dozen Local Authority areas across the UK. The programme is highly impactful for both our young people, and our volunteer mentors. It has won both national and local awards, featuring on the One Show and Sky News. We are proud to be able to offer this key support to young people across Midlothian and would like to invite potential volunteers to contact us to find out more.

To find out more or to apply to become a Grandmentor, visit or email:

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