LYF for our Teens
We pair each teen one-on-one with a mentor to be their trusted friend and guide for at least one year, but ideally for the duration of the program (being up to 4 years). Our mentors are volunteers from various backgrounds and are young adults (aged 22 – 39), so that they are reasonably close to the age of our participants.
Together each pair shares new experiences and opportunities at five LYF events per year (and smaller catch-ups in between) to grow confidence and self-worth in a supportive and safe environment. It’s amazing what someone can achieve when another person believes in them and when they believe in themselves, and we see this time and time again through our program.
Please get in contact with our Vice President to discuss referring a young person to our program via the Contact Us page. See below for some frequently asked questions.
Information for Parents and Carers
Frequently Asked Questions
For LYF, mentoring provides a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with a ‘peer’ who is relatively close in age to the teen. They are caring individuals that can offer guidance, support and encouragement. The mentor is not a replacement for a parent, nor are they a counsellor or teacher. They are a sounding board and confidant to the young person. More information about what a mentor is can be found here.
LYF accepts referrals from UCFK but we are not the same organisation. LYF was established in 2011 as a separate charity, run by a separate and older Committee.
As LYF is a completely separate organisation, if you have children involved in UCFK, you must contact us directly and complete the necessary forms to register your child in our program.
Teenagers are eligible for our services on the basis of demonstrated financial, social, emotional or parental hardship. Teens must be based in Perth and be in Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 or Year 10 at school.
If you live more than 45 minutes from the Perth CBD, your teen is eligible, however, we ask that you assist by dropping your teen at an agreed meeting point to meet their mentor for Big Day Out events.
Young people who have been heavily involved in UCFK will have a direct referral pathway to LYF, however we do accept a small number of teens from other sources.
As LYF is a year-long mentoring program, sign-ups for teens are in January and February of each year, and are done so via registration forms.
If the young person you want to refer was heavily involved in UCFK and has graduated from that organisation, they will be invited to register for LYF after UCFK camps.
If your child was not a UCFK participant, they can be referred to us throughout the year, and they will go through our selection process.
We may have capacity to take on new teens during the year up until June, however, this is subject to funding and volunteering capacity.
Our Vice-President will be able to let you know what our capacity is to take on new teens and will send you necessary forms. Visit the Contact Us page.
LYF provides its services free of charge, and our volunteers pick up and drop off your teen for each event, aside from the weekend camp. We ask that you organise transport for your teen to and from our meeting point for camp.
We have high expectations that teens prioritise and commit to attending our events, as consistency is the key reason to the success and outcomes of the program. If your teen is accepted into the program, it is expected that they will attend camp and three out of four of our Big Days Out. Attendance is monitored by the committee and unexplained absences will be reported on.
LYF consists of volunteers with relevant experience or interest in working with children and youth. All our volunteers 22 years or older, have a current Working With Children Check and have undergone a thorough selection process and training. In addition to mentors, LYF has other types of volunteers that assist on the day and provide extra supervision and backfill for mentors. As LYF is a one-on-one mentoring program, there are always more LYF volunteers at events than there are teens.
Teens are paired up with a mentor to ensure a high level of support at any one time. Mentors will arrange the morning pick-up and late-afternoon drop-off for the teen with parents or guardians for our Big Days Out and small group activities, and are responsible for making sure that teens have a fun and safe day.
We are also vigilant about sun and water safety, COVID-requirements, as well as seatbelts and other general safety concerns. LYF also has a first aid officer at each Big Day Out and Camp.
Activities on our weekend camp and at Big Day Outs vary every year. Half of the activities are rotations based around our key LYF skills, and the other half dedicated to challenging our teens with fun, new experiences where teens can develop friendships in a safe and supportive environment. We also partner with community organisations such as Headspace, to introduce our teens to services they can access at any time. Examples of activities include trampolining, arts and crafts, music, team building, sports, water parks, gymnastics, surf lifesaving and more. Visit our What we do page for summaries of our previous events.
Parents/guardians will be written to approximately 2-3 weeks prior to each event outlining what activities we will be doing, what to bring and who to contact in the case of an emergency.
Sometimes, your teen will need to bring additional clothes, accessories (e.g. towel) or specific shoes to our events to participate in activities. You will be notified of these prior to the event. We also ask that your teen brings a drink bottle to our events. Your teen should not bring money, valuables or mobile phones to LYF events, as LYF will not take responsibility for lost or stolen items.
In addition to our events, mentors have the option and are encouraged to initiate and maintain phone and email contact with their teen, and spend time on the weekend in a smaller group setting (called Small Group Activities), to further develop the mentoring relationship. This is optional and is driven by each individual mentor.
A key focus of LYF is to ensure this contact is as beneficial as possible while staying within set boundaries for the protection of the mentors and teens, and as such we have strict policies and procedures in place that mentors must follow when making contact with their teen.