SECONDARY school pupils have been trained to be peer mentors and help support other students.

Easthampstead Park Community School (EP), in Great Hollands, has worked with The Brakenhale School, in Easthampstead, to train a group of pupils from Years 3 and 4, ages 13-15.

The mentors will support fellow students experiencing problems with friendships, conflict, homework or other difficulties.

Lester Martin, learning support manager at EP and a member of Bracknell Forest Anti-Bullying group, said: "We established peer mentoring in our secondary schools six years ago and it has proved to be a great support to students and one of the best ways to prevent and tackle bullying in particular.

"We are grateful to all the students who participated and wish the newly-trained peer mentors every success in their roles." Pupils had to apply for the training with references from their tutor or a senior member of staff, then they took part in two half days of training at The Zone youth centre, in Great Hollands, and Bracknell Forest Education Centre, at Easthampstead Park Conference Centre.

The programme was run by staff and established peer mentors from EP and workshops were led by Debbie Coleman, manager of The Zone. A total of 22 EP students and nine from The Brakenhale took part, working on listening and communication skills.

The mentors will also volunteer at a drop-in service in both schools for students to talk to them during break and lunch times.