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“a process by which an older and more experienced person takes a younger person under his/her wing, freely offering advice, support and encouragement. The older person (the mentor) becomes among other things, a role model who inspires the younger person (the mentee)”

Mentoring another person is a privilege and can have a tremendous impact. It is a partnership and non judgmental activity based on impartiality and respect.

A mentor can be a supporter, an encourager, an advisor, a signposter, a critical friend, a friendly ear, a sounding board and an advocate. Mentors can play a number of different roles in a young persons life, helping with homework or revision, providing awareness of the world of work, sharing a hobby or interest, building confidence. Mentoring is like having a toolbox where you pick the right tool for the right occasion.

Interestingly the bible is full of examples of mentoring including well known characters such as Moses and Joshua, Elijah, and Elisha Paul and Timothy, Eunice and Lois.

Worth Unlimited programmes have mentoring support at their heart across our portfolio. But we also encourage volunteers to support young people in their communities by being a mentor to a vulnerable or at risk young person. Sometimes it is the smaller things that make the most difference as people with a range of different lifestyles, skills and interests find that they can share these with a young person, perhaps only meeting once a fortnight and in doing so see positive change in their mentees life. Often our mentors too find that their lives are changed through their encounter with a young person living a very different life.

Worth Unlimited mentoring programmes involve full and comprehensive training for potential mentors including thorough screening. Our training programme has been approved by the National Mentoring Network.

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Peer Mentoring

Worth Unlimited also offer a Peer Mentoring training programme believing that young people themselves can be very supportive and effective role models to their young peers and increasingly local schools are finding that they can help their younger new students settle in more quickly into the new culture by releasing their older students to get involved in supporting the transition process and recognising their capacity to be positive role models.

Peer mentors are drawn from across the range of abilities in a diverse school community. It is not just something for the most gifted. Often the least academically gifted are among the most compassionate and understanding of peer mentors. All Peer mentors are taught a range of essential mentoring skills such as listening skills, signposting skills and how to handle confidentiality as a peer mentor.

Peer mentors often run lunchtime clubs in their schools for younger students and organise special activities. Some are assigned to younger tutor groups and help tutors with checking homework. Others run reading clubs and encourage the development of younger students skills. Peer mentors themselves benefit from the additional responsibility given to them, the status afforded them in the school and the new skills they can apply in wider life.

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Find out about our Detached Youth Work programme >

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“I have likened being a mentor to being a passenger in the driving seat reading the map for the driver. I can see what is coming up and can advise the driver of the best route and what turns to take and we can chat along the way about the journey about what we see. Ultimately though the decisions are the drivers who decides whether to take my guidance or not. The driver is in control of the journey and I am there to support them. Whenever I am driving I like to have someone else looking at the map for me.”

Mentor – North London

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“being a mentor is something I’d never have thought I’d be interested in, in a million years. I had no time for teenagers and just thought they were a group that had no manners and no respect for people or property. But as a Christian I felt strongly that despite my attitude to young people, it would be wrong of me not to try although I couldn’t imagine what a young person could get from me.

“young people seem different now than in my day but mentoring has enabled me to see the positives about them. I’ve been surpsised to learn that I can and I know that it is a provilvel to be let in their world. I enjoy my time with “my girls” and they bring the best out in me.

I have found mentoring to be a great experience so far. You discover things about yourself, as well as young people and the whole experience seems to benefit both parties.”

Mentor - Walthamstow

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