The search is on for adult mentors to help out young people living in Whittlesea and Hume.

The Raise Foundation is bringing its school-based mentoring program to the outer north, offering students at Whittlesea, Epping, Lalor and Hume Central secondary colleges, and Hume Valley Special School, the chance to partner with a mentor.

The program connects young people, who are at risk of disengaging, with an adult they feel comfortable talking to. Students are referred by schools, and spend an hour a week with their mentor during terms two and three.

Program director Carol Sandiford said the young people taking part in the program are often struggling to cope.

“They have complicated lives and are dealing with lots of different issues, such as bullying, mental illness, family violence,” she said.

“The program gives them someone they can trust.”

Ms Sandiford said mentors need to be good listeners and be able to act as a sounding board for their young buddy’s ideas and aspirations.

“An older person’s skills and life experiences can make a real difference to a young person in the local community,” she said.

“We have people mentoring who are parents, who work part-time or have flexible hours, retirees, university students and corporate employees undertaking social responsibility initiatives.” Mentors are asked to volunteer for two hours each week, with one hour spent working with program managers.

To volunteer, visit