Children in Need funding for Phoenix

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THE Phoennix ADHD Project in Coleraine has been awarded a total of £69,162 over three years by Children in Need to run a Youth Mentoring Programme for young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Naomi McClelland, the Youth Mentor Coordinator explained: “The project has come into existence as a result of young people with ADHD requesting specialist one-to-one support and guidance”.

“Phoenix Youth Mentoring Project works with young people aged 12 to 18 who have been diagnosed with having ADHD and is aimed at helping these young people overcome any difficulties they are facing as a result of having ADHD.”

“As young people with ADHD enter adolescence they are at significantly higher risk than their peers of dropping out of school, engaging in antisocial and high risk behaviours such as drug taking.

“Current research into mentoring youths with psychiatric disorders concluded that ‘mentored children have more adaptive responses to drug or alcohol offers, more positive attitudes towards school, better relationships at home and less truancy’ (Jent & Niec, 2008).

“Therefore by providing the Mentoring Project we aim to empower these ‘at risk’ individuals so they can see themselves as capable and competent, realising and reaching their full potential.”

Naoimi went on to explain: “The mentoring relationship focuses on supporting the young person’s individual needs and helping them to set and achieve personal goals. Each young person on the project is matched with a volunteer mentor who will meet with them once a week for a minimum of two hours.

“The development of the Mentoring Project would offer young people with ADHD the opportunity to build appropriate, positive relationships with a mentor who can support them in overcoming the challenges they face and assist them in achieving positive outcomes.”

“In conjunction with the one-to-one mentoring, group activities will also be offered which are aimed at encouraging the development of positive peer networks, team skills and developing confidence within group interactions.

“Research suggests that the participation in a mentoring programme is ‘associated with improved social skills, decreased antisocial behaviours and improved academic behaviour’(Caldarella, Adams, Valentine & Young, 2009).

“The project is currently recruiting volunteer youth mentors. Youth mentoring is a great opportunity to make a positive impact on a young person’s life. Volunteers will receive training and will have the opportunity to gain an OCN Level 2 qualification in Youth Mentoring.”

Anyone wanting more information about the project or wishing to volunteer as a youth mentor should contact Naomi McClelland, Youth Mentoring Coordinator on: 028 7000 2050 or email: naomi@phoenixadhdproject.org Information is also available on the Phoenix website: www.phoenixadhdproject.org