Mentee Reflects on His Time At SMASH
Today the SMASH team received a letter from one of our young people, who was reflecting on his time at SMASH:
“Hi, my name is Aidan and I am 14 years old and I have been attending SMASH, a Charity group for young adults since December 2013. SMASH is where you get the chance to be placed with an older person of your preference and you get to meet with them e.g. every week if you want too. It can help with social anxiety, a fear of public spaces or health anxiety which is what I have.
At first I was extremely scared to meet what they call ‘mentors’, the people who are trained to work with us young adults. I didn’t know what to expect. I remember saying to my mum ‘please, I really don’t want to be doing this’. And deep down, if it wasn’t for my mum’s persistence and the team at SMASH, I would be nowhere like I am now.
I eventually went to the open day and I met a lovely woman called Ruth. She volunteered to be a mentor. I asked if I could be put with her as we just clicked, and I was put with her.
The night we first met to go out I was really nervous however Ruth was really chatty, had the same interests as me and it felt I had known her forever. Ruth is such a nice person, I don’t see her as my mentor, I see her as my friend. Everyone of the mentors that I met during the opening day were also really warm hearted and did not judge me like I expected people too.
If you feel comfortable you can go out with your mentor. Me and Ruth have been to the cinema, restaurants to try new foods that I wouldn’t have tried before and we even went to bowling which I was scared to go too as there was lots of people there and that makes me nervous, but Ruth’s good-humour and skills at bowling *cough* distracted me from my fears!
SMASH overall has helped me sooo much and I’ve only being doing it for 6 months out of the year. I had my doubts first but the team at SMASH did not force me into doing anything. They made sure I was comfortable with Ruth (you don’t have to be with the mentor you’re put with, you can change) and I am so glad I went with it. I have no regrets or anything I would change. Honestly, do it, you will come out of it as a different, better person.”