Steve Snowdon, North Shields
“I worked in banking for over 40 years and recently took early retirement. I knew I wanted to do something but wasn’t sure I could commit to anything long-term so the Friends of North Tyneside really appealed to me being a 12 week programme. I was really keen on helping young people get into employment and using my own skills and experience to ‘give something back’ – but actually it’s much more than just helping with job searches. A lot of the young people we’ve worked with have experienced difficulties and barriers and that’s been a real eye-opener. As a team we’ve helped them to build their confidence, develop life skills and join in with tasks they might never have otherwise. I’ve built a strong relationship with one young person in particular – she struggled with public transport so now we travel in together and I support her with that and other aspects of the programme. This is definitely a rewarding scheme to be involved in – we can really see the positive difference we’re making to people’s lives."