What’s it like being mentored?

The video clip above was recorded in 2013 – just young people talking about what mentors and mentoring mean to them.

Being mentored is like having a friend who looks out for you. A mentor isn’t like a teacher, a parent or a social worker, they’re just an adult you can talk to.

Our mentors are adults from the local area who volunteer. They do it because they think it’s important to give young people support and opportunities. We train them, but they’re just regular people from your community.

They’ll listen, they won’t judge, and they won’t get annoyed. If you have serious issues, they may share them with Mentoring Plus so we can help you and your family. Otherwise everything you say is just between the two of you.

Being mentored is a chance to try new stuff, if you want to. Maybe sports, drama, cooking, or going places you haven’t been before.

Your mentor can help you find more things you’re good at, and Mentoring Plus arranges activities too.

You might have a particular goal, like coping better with feelings or getting onto a college course. Your mentor can help, and will celebrate with you when you succeed.

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Q: Do mentors give advice?

A: They might have been in a similar situation and talk about what worked for them, and ask what you think. Or they might ask questions which will help you think about all the options and come up with your own answers. Mentors don’t ‘fix’ things, but they can help make problems seem more manageable.

We match about fifty 7-21 years olds with mentors each year, and we work with them to make sure it’s going well.

Almost everyone who is mentored tells us they feel happier and more confident. Most feel better about school and are able to keep out of trouble with the help of their mentor.

We have slightly different mentoring programmes for 7-11 year olds, 12-16 year olds and people aged 16-21. Have a look at at the section below for more information.

How we mentor different age groups

7-11 year olds

12-16 year olds

16+ years

If you’re feeling worried about things at home, or school is difficult for you, it’s good to talk about it with someone who understands.

Sometimes it helps to talk in a group so you know you’re not the only one feeling that way. Other times it feels better to talk to a mentor on your own.

Talking through problems and thinking about good ways to deal with them helps you feel happier and more confident.

You also get the chance to try new activities and get out and about with your mentor.

Our volunteer mentors work with 12-16 year olds outside school. When you meet and what you do is up to each mentor and mentee, but normally it’s once a week in the afternoon or evening.

Your mentor might collect you and drive you to do something together, or you might meet up and go for walk and a snack.

Some of our mentors and mentees come to Mentoring Plus to cook and eat a meal together, or go along to other activities we’ve arranged with local organisations.

You can tell your mentor everything that’s happened that week, or you can just chat about anything. It’s a great opportunity to get things off your mind to someone outside school, friends and family, but it’s up to you.

Problems with education, family, friends and relationships don’t disappear the moment you finish education. It can be difficult to move on into the adult world, and a bit of support at the right time can really help.

We match adult volunteer mentors to over-16s in the same way as for our younger people. We also provide regular vocational and skills-building activities with a focus on supporting the move to training and employment.

Your personal plan will help identify the things you’re interested in and how your mentor can help you achieve them.

How we listen to you

Mentoring Plus is run for the benefit of young people. We need the input of mentees and mentors to make sure we’re doing it right, and thinking about the future in the right ways.

Young Voices meets regularly and is where we talk about things that affect us all, ideas for future activities, and how Mentoring Plus can improve. We often have external guests who want to hear from young people too.

Every young person working with Mentoring Plus is assigned a named link worker, and they’re usually the best person to contact first.

For more general feedback and questions, please contact us via this website and we’ll make sure the relevant person gets the message and comes back to you.

How it works

See our handy step by step guide