“There are a number of different definitions, meanings and versions of mentoring. The dictionary defines mentoring as - the act or process of helping and giving advice to a younger  or less experienced person, especially in a job or at school. To us it means so much more! At YG mentoring is about building a trusting relationship with a youth worker or volunteer to give young people the confidence, motivation and skills to improve their lives. Everyone is different and our mentoring is tailor-made for each young person.

“Mentoring is not just for young people, many famous and successful people have had mentors during their careers. Just look at the two entrepreneurs and tech genius Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. These two are said to have taken walks together discussing how Zuckerberg might manage and develop Facebook. When Steve died in 2011, Mark Zuckerberg posted ‘Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.’

“Or look at Michelle Robinson, better known now as Michelle Obama. When Barack started at the law firm as a summer associate in which they both worked, Michelle was assigned to mentor Barack and show him the ropes. Barack often credits Michelle today as being the support and success behind his great achievements. Michelle has also developed her own mentoring for disadvantaged young people in Washington.

“Finally although completely fictional, how could I not mention Harry Potter and Dumbledore! Throughout the books and films we see the relationship between the two of them grow stronger. There is a huge amount of respect for Dumbledore, which is shared amongst all students, except maybe the Slytherins, all understanding how much there is to learn. Harry’s development was definitely shaped by Dumbledore and was far more than just magic.

“Building a trusted mentee-mentor relationship allows young people a safe space to learn and discover things about themselves. Mentors can be a great source of guidance and support to young people by sharing their own personal lived experiences. The relationship between a mentor and mentee can help build trust and illustrate the dynamics of a positive relationship that many young people value and need. Working with a mentor allows young people’s perceptions and opinions to be challenged and promote discussion, inquisitiveness and most of all empowerment.

“YG have some great volunteer mentoring projects that we are looking for people to get involved with. As a volunteer mentor, you would be individually matched with a young person by experience, knowledge, common interests and personal preferences that have been shared with us. Volunteer mentors are offered full training to prepare you to be working with a young person. During the mentoring process, volunteer mentors are supported through regular supervisions and catch-ups, safeguarding drop-in sessions, best practice meetings and further training and development sessions. Generally you will meet your mentee at a pre-arranged time in a public place such as coffee shop or sports field. You will begin your experience by getting to know each other and together you will decide on what you want to achieve with your time together and set ambitions and goals all whilst exploring the local community and having some fun.

“If you are over the age of 18, have a spare hour or two a week, are a good listener and want to help make a difference to a young person’s life just like Dumbledore, then we want to hear from you! Get in touch via volunteering@youngglos.org.uk