Rachel Gainsford, Grandmentors

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The experience of the more elderly can greatly help younger people, especially those who have had not much chance in life.
This was the message given to members of Dover Rotary Club by Rachel Gainsford when she spoke about the work of Grandmentors, a scheme initially started in London in 2009.
The scheme links younger people, including those who have been in care, with a mentor who has gained a lot of experience during a longer life. She also explained that the organisation also linked young asylum seekers with mentors.
Rachel, based in a centre in Melbourne Avenue, Dover, said younger people appreciated the difference about receiving help from volunteers compared with getting advice from people they knew were getting paid to do so.
One of the scheme’s greatest problems was geographical, with mentors and mentee living a distance apart. Mentors were checked, and trained, before beginning their volunteering duties.