Emmerdale star speaks of help she received as she backs drive to recruit mentors for disadvantaged youths

Gaynor Faye. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Gaynor Faye. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
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EMMERDALE star and Leeds actress Gaynor Faye has spoken about how a mentor helped her in the early days of her career as she launched a fresh drive to recruit people across the city to inspire disadvantaged young people.

Miss Faye, who plays Megan in the soap, is supporting the Diana Awards as it kicks off its new campaign to recruit 1,000 mentors across England to work with children in years eight, nine and 10 from this April onwards.

She said: “When I was introduced to my mentor I was 21 years old and to all intents and purposes should have been one of the happiest girls alive – on the surface I had everything, but I lacked self esteem and suffered with depression.

“My mentor helped me to realise that anything is possible if we really want it. I try and adopt the same heart as my mentor by supporting and inspiring as many young people as I can.”

The push for mentors comes on the back of a report on Educating the North from The Northern Powerhouse Network which recommends that every business commits to mentoring. So far, businesses including Lloyds, Sky, Network Rail, Sentio and Mint HR have signed up to the Diana Awards scheme.

Head of The Diana Award’s Mentoring Programme, Ellie Cooper, said: “Our campaign highlights the significant role of mentoring as a key contributor for social mobility in the lives of hard to reach people. Anyone can give back as a mentor regardless of age or demographic.

!We want to reach out and encourage mentors in the Leeds, Bradford and York and the surrounding areas to step forward.”

Prince Harry revealed the impact his mentor had on him when he met with youth mentors who were being trained by The Diana Award. He talked of how his Colour Sergeant at Sandhurst guided him and helped him to look forward.

To get involved in The Diana Award’s Mentoring Programme visit www.diana-award.org.uk/mentoring