‘‘It’s better to build boys than mend men.’

Adam is ten and he loves football and watching television. He has seen a lot of violent, drunken beatings, but not on TV. It was his mum he saw being hit and Adam couldn’t do anything to stop it. That was his third ‘dad’. He still sees it in his nightmares. Adam needs to know that some men are good and can be trusted. He needs to follow his dreams, not his nightmares. Adam’s mentor knows this and has built a strong bond with him, initially through playing football together.

The Island currently has a waiting list of 48 young boys like Adam between the ages of 7 – 13 who are growing up in York without fathers, and who are longing for a caring, trustworthy man in their lives.

The Island asks Mentoring Visionaries to commit two hours of their time, once a week, for one year to help boys like Adam. However, experience has proved that the mentoring relationship is often sustained for much longer than this.

Mentoring Visionaries are men of any age who have a heart for mentoring the fatherless. They receive over 30 hours of orientation and training, as well as ongoing support and supervision. All necessary safeguarding checks are carried out.

Mentoring Visionaries also have the support of their pastor and church fellowship. They are a part of a community of praying and mentoring believers which is developing throughout York, bringing individuals and churches together.

‘This is a very important project. Boys need role models to know what it is to grow up well. They need to know that they are loved and supported so that they can discover all that they can be. We talk of the love of our heavenly Father, and yet so much of what we think that might look like comes from our earthly Father figures. This initiative gives us all the opportunity to be that crucial influence for good in young people’s lives.’

John Sentamu

As Mentoring Visionaries love is clearly demonstrated in the relationship through their unconditional, consistent presence.

As Mentoring Visionaries modelling Christ-likeness is vital as children remember nearly 75% of what they see us do.

As Mentoring Visionaries coaching is a means to teach values and is only possible after love and modelling.

Mentoring Visionaries can change the lives of young boys in York, one relationship at a time.

Our 48 young boys are right now struggling to cope at home, school and in the wider community. They urgently need positive male role models in their lives.

Are there men in your church fellowship who feel called to response to this call? Is your church fellowship able to offer support to your Mentoring Visionary in York?

If you and your church fellowship would be interested in partnering with The Island and hearing more about this new initiative then please contact Nigel Poulton, Mentoring Co-ordinator. You can also watch a short film about MVP: