Big brother makes first flight fun
'Big brother' makes first flight fun

It was his first time in the air and 10-year-old Ashley Peterson was a ball of nervous energy.

The Fremantle youngster had his first flying experience this week when he took to the skies in the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter as part of the YMCA's Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

With his "big brother" Matt Griffith, of Willagee, Ashley took a spin in the helicopter to mark the program's 10th anniversary in Perth.

The pair have been meeting regularly for the past four months as part of the YMCA program, enjoying trips to the beach, Time Zone and the Fremantle Markets.

Ashley said he hoped the two could keep hanging out for years to come and the helicopter ride was the highlight of their time together so far.

"I liked how when it went to the side, it made me tip," he said. "It was a bit more than what I was expecting - it was more fun, more exciting and more noisy."

Mr Griffith said their friendship provided Ashley with a male influence in his life and the two had clicked immediately.

"Ashley's mum has said that he enjoys hanging out with me, which is great, and even after such a short time he already seems a lot more relaxed around me and treating me more like a mate rather than as an adult," Mr Griffith said.

YMCA chief executive Ross Kyrwood said the program was desperately in need of male volunteers, particularly in the southern suburbs, which had long waiting lists of young males wanting to be matched with a suitable mentor.

The West Australian

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