Grow: Nature based youth development charity launches walking mentoring programme in response to Covid-19.

Grow, a Sheffield based youth development charity has launched a volunteer led walking mentoring programme in Sheffield.

After being unable to deliver the charity's main programmes, the team thought creatively to develop new ways of working in response to Covid-19. The programme aims to support young people who are at risk of mental ill-health and feelings of isolation due to Covid-19.

Steven Cotton, founder of Grow, says: “we could see young people struggling and wanted to find a safe way to offer support. Covid-19 has certainly had a disproportionately negative impact on those who suffer with mental ill-health, and we’re keen to play our part in preventing increases in mental ill-health”

Young people aged 16-24 are referred to the Walk & Talk programme and are matched with one of Grow’s trained volunteer mentors. They meet once a week for eight weeks. Sessions take place in local parks and green spaces - which enables the young person to receive support whilst also experiencing the therapeutic benefits of being in nature!

Sarah Walker, coordinator of the Walk & Talk programme, says: “it’s brilliant to see our volunteer mentors offer support to young people all across the city. It really feels like the community coming together to offer support to people at this challenging time”.

To refer a young person to the programme complete our online referral form:

If you’re interested in joining our volunteer team, please view the role description on our website:

The Walk & Talk programme is being funded through support from local individual donors and through grants from South Yorkshire Community Foundation, Sheffield Council and SOAR.