I was new to Geelong.

No family or friends.

Online, I noticed an opportunity to join EdConnect.

They train and support volunteers to work in local schools to provide a safety net for young people who might otherwise struggle to realise their potential – in school and life.

I am semi-retired, (due to health issues – like growing old) who misses the cut and thrust of being self-employed.

As a professional business coach and mentor, I felt that I may be suitable to mentoring children.

How easy could this be?

How wrong was I?

And so we begin…..

Kids are so vulnerable.

Their life is governed by their upbringing and surrounding lifestyles.

Choices are made for them.

Compared to adults in business – who have the choice of making their own decisions.

Back to the story.

I was interviewed.

Upon being evaluated, personal references were verified and a working with children application applied for.

Upon both being successful the induction began.

Specific training was provided by EdConnect, relevant to the work.

A list of participating schools was offered, my choice was made and a student allocated to me.

If he was nervous at our first meeting, it didn’t show.

I know I was.

His problem was his inability to relate, verbally with his classmates (and me).

Our conversations consisted of me raising a subject and a monosyllabic mumble in response.

“Sorry, could you repeat that”, became the standard reply of mine.

Two or three weeks went by, my concern for his mental welfare increased.

Only in a way of wanting to help – the sad stories of home life had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

Gradually he opened up and we communicated freely.

Time, patience and perseverance have created a bond of friendship and trust between us.

We are both the better for it.

Much, much better for it.

We have developed a bond of trust and respect.

Confidentiality is paramount.

I on the other hand, am most grateful for the opportunity that EdConnect have provided me with.

Why did I volunteer for this?

Simple, the effort is worth the journey.

Not always easy.

If it was, it wouldn’t be so enjoyable.

Could it be for you?

EdConnect 1800 668 550 http://www.edconnectaustralia.org.au

Story: John Wooldrage, stock photo used.