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Bec Prendergast

Mentor and mental health clinician | Christchurch

I have built up an easy, fun relationship with Mya. It’s like hanging out with a friend or being a big sister — we chat openly and laugh together. She is a very good, warm and intelligent girl and she has made mentoring a positive experience for me.

We do a range of fun things together. I pick her up from school most Wednesdays. We go to the park or bake at my house. We have afternoon tea and watch TV. Sometimes we go to the Antarctic Centre or the Canterbury Museum, and in the holidays or weekends I might take her to the movies or out for the day. I like to do things with her that she wouldn’t normally get the chance to do.

Sometimes we have dinner with my mum and dad. They love Mya and she always greets them with a big hug. She knows my husband really well too, so I guess we are a bit like an extended family for her. Mya lives alone with her grandma, so having me as another adult in her life is a good thing. I have become something of a role model for her.

I get a lot out of my time with Mya. I don’t have another child in my life, so I really enjoy being with her. It’s also good to have a break from my work and studies. There’s no doubt that seeing Mya is one of the favourite things in my week because I don’t have to focus on anything else.

I am doing this for her, but I really don’t think about it as giving because, to be honest, she gives so much more to me. I’m inspired to give my time to mentor because it is fun and energising, and I’m pleased to know that simple things make a massive difference to someone’s life. That makes me feel happy.

I definitely want to continue mentoring Mya. It would be very hard to give it up because I’d really be the one missing out.

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