New Anchor WA mentoring pilot program

An anchor for youth: Anchor WA Committee convenor Monica Kerr with a member of the Esperance Bay Rotary Club and Program coordinator Karli Florisson. Photo: Supplied.
An anchor for youth: Anchor WA Committee convenor Monica Kerr with a member of the Esperance Bay Rotary Club and Program coordinator Karli Florisson. Photo: Supplied.

A new Anchor WA mentoring pilot program is underway in the Esperance region, aimed at supporting youth to reach their full potential.

I think that’s what drew me to it – that there’s a need there and that it would be a really beneficial program for the community.

Anchor WA Program coordinator Karli Florisson.

The mentoring organisation is run by a committee of local residents, tasked with determining how best to tailor the program to the region’s youth and the unique issues they face.

Program coordinator Karli Florisson said she believed the program would be greatly beneficial to youth and to the wider Esperance community.

“I think it’s a really necessary program, it’s needed,” she said.

“I think it’s the kind of thing that Esperance could really benefit from.

“I think that’s what drew me to it – that there’s a need there and that it would be a really beneficial program for the community.

“I think that young people in Esperance can sometimes have a bit of a problem with boredom and there might not be the access to services and facilities that there is in a bigger metropolitan area.

“We have huge amounts of natural resources that are great for entertaining young people but sometimes they don’t necessarily have the transport to get there or they don’t have an adult in their life that can take them.

“I think it’s also about a lack of support [for young people].

“Obviously there are some support services in town but we could benefit from having more support services for young people.”

Whilst the program aims to benefit youth, Ms Florisson said the mentor relationship established would be equally beneficial for the older individual involved.

“It will obviously benefit the young person, and that’s the idea, but we really believe the older person can benefit from that relationship as well,” she said.

“It’s volunteering to be part of a young person’s life and help them to grow and achieve their potential.”

The pilot program has received funding from the Rotary Club of Esperance Bay and support from the Shire of Esperance, Pink Budgie Studio’s Tegan Newtown and the Esperance Volunteer Resource Centre.

The pilot will include referrals from schools and youth agencies and, based on how well it is received by the community, Ms Florisson said she hoped to see the program continue to grow.

“We are not yet putting the call out to the community as far as getting people involved,” she said.

“We are doing a pilot program to see how it would go in Esperance and see if there is the need in the community and the volunteer base.

“We’re hoping that it will be well-received by the community and that it will continue on and grow.”