On the BBC News this morning was a report based on the Volunteer Survey. More than one in eight men do not volunteer to work with children because they are worried people will think they are a paedophile, a survey suggests. The survey found 69% of men do not give up their time to help youngsters. In all, 13% of the men questioned said they would not choose to volunteer to work with children due to fear of being perceived as a paedophile.
Both theNCH and Chance UK are calling for men to come forward and mentor boys aged five to 11. The NCH’s chief executive, Clare Tickell, said: “Many children, especially boys, are desperately in need of a male mentor, which is why we urgently need men to come forward despite any fears they may have about public perception. We work hard to ensure volunteers are checked by the police, trained and monitored, which we hope encourages men to come forward and helps assuage the public’s concern.”
Jo Hobbs, development manager at Chance UK, said: “Male volunteers are more difficult to recruit, yet positive male role models can make a huge difference to the lives of challenging children and young people.”
It is definitely a challenge to get more men involved in Children’s and Youth work. At the church where I work we have very few male volunteers, mainy due to work commitments, but it is something that needs to change. The effect of a good male role model is huge in today’s society where so many young boys don’t have a solid male role model to look up to.