National Mentoring Day!

Posted on October 27, 2017

Every week ProjectScotland mentors give an hour (or more!) of their time to support young volunteers on their journey to gaining new skills and experience, becoming more self-confident and achieving their goals.

It’s a rewarding role and it’s not just us that thinks so (check out some of our reviews on Good HQ from our mentors too)! So as today is National Mentoring Day, we caught up with four of our mentors who told us about their experiences mentoring.

Getting started…

Mentors sign up for many different reasons, from being past ProjectScotland volunteers themselves to wanting to help young people. We asked Mary and Gillian to explain what prompted them to apply to be a mentor.

“My main reason for volunteering with ProjectScotland is that I work in an environment where young people did not get the support and opportunity to make a different life for themselves. I wanted the opportunity to help break this cycle. I saw ProjectScotland as an opportunity to support and help motivate young people into work or training.” – Mary

“I began working with ProjectScotland through my role at Witherby Publishing Group and our Charitable Trust. I was so impressed with the work ProjectScotland are doing with young people in Scotland, and loved working with the ProjectScotland team so much, that I was drawn to finding out more about becoming a mentor. As soon as I did the training I was hooked.” – Gillian.

It’s a return journey

Being a mentor isn’t just a one way relationship, as Paul and Francisco explain what they get out of being a mentor:

“A huge amount of self-satisfaction, and a massive buzz, from seeing someone grow in confidence in front of your eyes.” – Paul

“I like to think I have the basic human capability to mirror the best of others who may not have found yet someone nearby to reflect their own excellence as human being or professionals. What I get out of it is another mirror reflecting my own possibilities. I don’t think there is a hierarchy of value between mentor and mentee, we are both on a journey passing alongside each other and we are learning from each other, we are just learning different things.” – Francisco.

Mentor highlights

Asking for just one highlight was difficult for many of our mentors, but check out these:

“My highlight has to be; very recently receiving a text from my last mentee, who I finished with back in August, telling me he had just got an interview for a job and that he was sure our work together on his CV had helped.” – Paul

“It is a privilege to be able to see that shine on a person’s face saying “I’m not that bad after all, with these cards I have plenty of game”. For me this has happens when you show a mentee some of their hidden skills and you can see on their face that you mean it when you say “you got this, you have done this, it is yours to own it and let it carry you forward.” – Francisco

Become a mentor too!

ProjectScotland is always in need mentors to support young people on their journey. We asked Gillian and Mary what they would say to anyone considering joining the team:

“It is a great opportunity to meet with some amazing young people who have seen the benefit to give their time to work on a voluntary basis in various work situations. It is an opportunity to share with them your life and work experiences and give them time, listening and practical advice to help them tease out where they go from here with their working life. So often now, young people don`t get, or give themselves the time, to just sit and think and bounce ideas off someone who is there just for them. It is often an hour of very important reflection.” – Mary

“You’re supported every step of the way by the wonderful PS team. Never worry about how much knowledge you might or might not have, the PS training is excellent and the staff are always around to guide you in the right direction. Being a mentor is not just about CVs and interview techniques, it’s about giving your volunteer someone they can bounce ideas off and who can listen to them, even when their worries aren’t work related.” – Gillian

Gillian is right! We run a Get Ready to Mentor workshop with new mentors, but it’s not just that! We provide on-going support, run local meet ups on a regular basis and our mentor team are always on hand to give advice and support.

Has this blog inspired you to become a volunteer mentor? Apply to become a mentor with ProjectScotland today or drop as an email to find out more.