What do you do if you don’t know how to do something, say some DIY? Perhaps you would look for some videos on Youtube, read some articles or even call a friend you know who has the knowledge you need. In a small way this is you being mentored. The dictionary defines it as - Mentor: a wise and trusted counsellor or teacher; an influential senior sponsor or supporter.
Every week members of the Phase team spend time with children and young people and school staff in mentoring session, but what is mentoring I hear you ask!
In many ways the dictionary definition sums up what mentoring is - mentoring is a space where the mentee can talk openly without fear of judgement or condemnation, it is a time where they are fully listened to, given an opportunity to have someone reflect back to them what they shared and helped to look at struggles and situations from different perspectives. Often goals and aims are set so that there can be a proactive and positive movement forward. Goal setting with a mentor provides some accountability which enables us to focus more on actually working towards what we have set. You can check out a previous blog I have written on goal setting.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey
Through all of our mentoring the young person is at the heart of it, therefore, we allow them to set the pace and agenda, sometimes people need some times to just offload their cares, concerns and anxieties, again this non-judgemental space provides this. A wise man once said ‘Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up’. This is what mentoring provides.
Recently one young person said to me:
‘I feel I turn up feeling low with all the rubbish I have, but I leave feeling lighter and able to face it all with hope’.
When we know that we do not face challenges alone, we have the strength to go on.
Wow Kieran, this sounds very interesting, but how do how does someone become a mentee?
Great question! There are a variety of ways, often schools or parents will suggest some people to be mentored, we would meet with them, explain how it works, what they can expect, what we expect and then let them decide if it is something that they want to move ahead with. One thing we always highlight is the fact that for mentoring to really have an impact we need to be willing to discuss the difficult things; this can be a big challenge for many. Many young people will contact Phase to be mentored, we try all that we can to accommodate them.
The impact we see from mentoring is huge! Over 85% of those that we have mentored have shown significant increase in their wellbeing. We have seen young people who have been disengaging with education turn it around and begin to improve their attainment and academic achievement. Relationships restored, confidence grown, emotions managed, positive coping strategies gained, the list goes on! You can read the difference mentoring has had on Molly.
If you have never had a mentor, then I would encourage you to give it a try. Find someone you look up to, that you can learn from and ask them to take you for a coffee, talk about what’s happening and be open to hear from them on ways forward, I find the time with my mentor invaluable.
You can help Phase support more young people through our mentoring programmes and give one young person that gift of time. Just £10 per month can support one young person. Just clink on the banner below.
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