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Becoming a Volunteer Mentor

Becoming a Volunteer Mentor

In this interview, one of our brilliant Volunteer Mentors shares insights into their mentoring journey

Why did you become a Volunteer Mentor?

Before volunteering with Mentoring Plus, I volunteered with young people from challenging backgrounds when I lived abroad. I grew up on a tough estate, and I wanted to give something back. It was really fulfilling and rewarding. Then, as a parent, I feel like an element of parenting is mentoring, and when you’ve gone through the cycle with your own children, I thought why stop there, when you can help others. 

So, when I saw a Mentoring Plus advert in Boston Tea Party calling for volunteers, I thought what the heck, I’ll give it a go. 

What was it like getting started with Mentoring Plus

After getting in touch, the team reached out and they invited me to a training session. I attended the two day session, and I was really impressed. It was well organised, comprehensive and I felt prepared for the task ahead. 

My first session was with one of the Mentoring Plus practitioners and my young mentee. We were both a bit nervous, but not for very long, and by the end of the session we had hit it off pretty well. He had been prepared to explore what he would like to get out of mentoring, and we used this as the foundation for what we would do each week. 

What did your mentoring sessions involve?

I would pick him up from school in the morning on a Tuesday, and we would go off and do various activities, ranging from playing football and going to playgrounds, to visiting stables and seeing the horses. We always ended our sessions with coffee and cake. I always felt that my mission was to take him out and have a bit of fun. I wanted him to enjoy himself. 

Did you encounter any challenges along the way?

The year I started was the year of Covid. So we had just going when we were interrupted. I was sending him videos, just silly ones, saying this won’t go on forever, we’ll be back doing fun things before you know it. We spent the rest of the year together. 

The difficult thing is when you have to say goodbye at the end. I felt like I was letting him down. I know a lot of these kids have experienced parents or role models letting them down, and I didn’t want to do that. So, I always made sure I was there on time, consistently. I didn’t want him to think I would be unreliable. 

You’re now mentoring for a second time, what’s it been like?

I understand my current mentee is having a more challenging time. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, as Mentoring Plus doesn't share that kind of information with you, however I did know that he was worried about starting secondary school. So, with support from his Mentoring Plus Practitioner, I took him for a look around his new school. I felt very privileged and proud to be there with him. 

He doesn’t express himself that easily, but I am pretty sure he enjoyed it. He is now looking forward to starting school, and I am really glad I can be there to support him transition. 

What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a Volunteer Mentor?

I think it’s something everyone should do - it’s very important. It’s a commitment, but it’s a lot of fun. You do things you would never normally do. 

Some people may worry whether they are the right person, or think that they need some level of experience, but you don’t. Mentoring Plus gives you all the training and support you need. 

Volunteer with us! 

We are recruiting kind and empathetic adults to join us and become Volunteer Mentors.

To find out more / apply, please:

Visit: Become a Mentor

Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Chris Hart: 

01225 429 694 

About the author

Mentoring Plus