20.Sep.2007

Gordon Brown backed project needs more volunteers from Stamford

Time Together is calling on residents of Stamford to extend a warm welcome by becoming a mentor to a refugee.

65 people have already mentored refugees as they settle into the Peterborough area, but Time Together needs more mentors from Stamford and surrounding areas.

Time Together has been praised by Gordon Brown who said:

“I am very pleased to congratulate TimeBank on the remarkable success of its Time Together scheme, now celebrating its fifth anniversary. Time Together is testimony to the power of one to one relationships to transform lives.”

The Prime Minister featured the project in his book Britain’s Everyday Heroes where he said:

“What makes this project so powerful is that it tries to give new residents a personal and real understanding of what it is like to live in Britain. 

“The mentors are real people with their own individual attitudes and opinions. They are not giving the “official view” but their own honest take on life in the UK, and it is this that makes their help so valuable to those building lives here for themselves.”
Time Together mentors come from all walks of life and spend around five hours a month with their mentee over the period of up to a year. Mentors help their mentees in many ways, from looking at their CV, to practising English, or showing them the local sights and helping them to get to know the area.

Peterborough Time Together coordinator Grace Walker says:

““When refugees arrive it can be a daunting process to settle in and become part of the community. The problems they face can seem difficult and isolating because they don’t have local knowledge.

“Spending time with a local mentor from the Time Together scheme is a great way of gaining the confidence needed to get out into the community and experience life in the Peterborough area.”

Gwen Benchley is a mentor from Stamford. She says: 

“Mentoring is very rewarding. It has opened up a whole new world to me. I volunteer with other organisations and if I think that someone would make a good mentor then I tell them about Time Together.“

All Time Together mentors attend a one-day training course, are actively involved in selecting a suitable match and receive support and expenses for the duration of their mentoring relationship.

Mentors must be over 18 years old, speak fluent English and be either British citizens or have lived in the UK long enough to have a real understanding of the culture and systems.

To find out more and to register to become a volunteer mentor on the Peterborough project, please contact Grace Walker on 01733 742813 or visit www.timetogether.org.uk

-ENDS-

For further media information please contact Fiona Lewis on 020 7785 6389 or at f.lewis@timebank.org.uk
Notes to editors:

• Time Together was set up in 2002 by TimeBank, in response to a Government white paper that recommended the provision of mentoring schemes to help refugees integrate better in the UK. The project matches local people with refugees in one to one mentoring relationships. Mentors spend around five hours a month with their mentee. There are now 24 Time Together projects operating across the UK. Time Together launched in Peterborough in April 2006. Time Together is funded by the Home Office and HM Treasury.  See www.timetogether.org.uk

• Time Together in Peterborough is run in partnership with New Link.

• Gordon Brown speaks about Time Together in his new book BRITAIN'S EVERYDAY HEROES, published by Mainstream. For more information, see www.community-links.org

• TimeBank tackles social issues by finding ways for people to give their time that inspire them and match their lives. We know it’s a lot to ask people to give up their time and so we are committed to finding ways that suit how people live and that addresses the needs of the world we live in. Registered charity no. 1073831. See www.timebank.org.uk

• Add your name to the TimeBank media mailing list and you'll receive regular press releases from TimeBank keeping you updated on new campaigns and activity. Visit our online Media Centre for more information. www.timebank.org.uk/mediacentre