Become a Mentor

Our mentoring scheme supports young people who may benefit from longer term support, beyond therapy. It involves being matched with an adult volunteer to have regular meetings in the community for a period of 6-12 months. Mentoring meetings typically involve things like enjoying a walk outdoors, getting a hot drink or food together, or an activity i.e. bowling/table tennis. We aim to match young people with a mentor who has similar interests, where possible.

What is a mentor?
The role of a mentor is to build a supportive, encouraging and trusting relationship with the young person that enables them to feel listened to and allows them to work towards any goals they may have. Young people may benefit from the scheme for a variety of reasons, such as ongoing difficulties with peer or family relationships, challenging home or financial situations, or struggles with social anxiety and communication.

Mentors work individually with each young person, but they can mentor up to two young people at any one time. It is normal to start with one young person before taking on another one after a few months.

Could I be a Mentor?

The mentors on the scheme are not mental health professionals, but come from a variety of backgrounds, with a diverse range of life experience and interests to share with young people. Our mentors have come from business, education, charity, transport and trainee counsellors. Some mentors are retired, or stay-at-home parents and some mentors do not have children of their own.

Our mentors are all 25 years of age or older. They may have worked with young people before in a personal or professional capacity, but they all share a desire to help young people move on positively with their lives.

If you are interested in a voluntary mentoring role in the future please click on 'contact us' and complete the form. We will hold your details on file and contact you when a vacancy becomes available.



What is it like being a mentor?
Here is what James had to say about his experience of being a mentor:

Q Why did you want to become a mentor and why?
“I looked at as an opportunity to channel some positive energy into my own personal life. The chance to help some younger people who might have similar issues (or different) that I had in my teens was an excellent opportunity.”

Q Did you have any reservations about it initially? How did you overcome these?
“Certainly, nerves surrounding the reaction from the young people and what to expect. Nerves surrounding whether I would say the right thing or be able to help. Just “going for it” and “trusting my instincts” helped to overcome those nerves.”

Q What are the more challenging parts of the role?
“Frustrations. Having high expectations which rapidly have to be recalibrated as time moves on. Remembering you yourself were a teen once is very helpful with this.”

Q What do you enjoy about it? What benefits are there for you within the role, personally?
“Little ‘wins’ and the feeling of doing something positive. My mentoring meets usually consist of a ‘walk and a talk’ and I find that really positive for my own mental health, as much as for the young people.”

Q Would you recommend the role?
“Absolutely, and actively have done in the past.”

What is it like being a mentor?
Here is what Alison had to say about her experience of being a mentor:

Q Why did you want to become a mentor and why?
“I had some free time and was keen to use my skills and experience to become a mentor with Bromley Y and support young people who needed someone to talk to. I also knew that becoming a mentor would be valuable for me personally in terms of developing new skills, and understanding if it is an area I would like to become further involved in.”

Q Did you have any reservations about it initially? How did you overcome these?
“I wasn't sure how it would work in practice in terms of meeting up and how this would fit with my own family life, and seeing how the relationship would develop and conversation would flow, but in each case I've just taken a relaxed approach and it has naturally worked out with the young person. I was also concerned about the safety of young people and wanted to make sure I felt prepared to handle different situations I might find myself in, but the training helped with this.”

Q What are the more challenging parts of the role?
“Although it is designed to be a year-long arrangement it can feel a bit loose or unstructured within this, so it is good to think about the purpose of it from the young person's perspective and to work with them to identify goals to work towards. It can also be challenging to understand how they work, think and communicate, but this just takes time, care and patience.”

Q What do you enjoy about it? What benefits are there for you within the role, personally?
“I think it is an amazing privilege to build a relationship with a young person and to have them share things with you that they may not discuss with anyone else. To see a young person smile, laugh or just be themselves in your company when you know they have overcome some intense personal challenges is deeply satisfying. I also enjoy getting to know the things that young people are into, and I think it has made me a better person and parent!”

Q Would you recommend the role?
“I would definitely recommend mentoring, especially with Bromley Y, as they are very attentive to training, matching mentor and mentee, and supporting the mentors through regular supervision. It is a wonderful growth opportunity for individuals and a very tangible way to make a difference with young people in the local community.”

How does it work?
Our small team of mentors support approximately two young people each, which involves a commitment of roughly 8 hours a month. Background, DBS and reference checks are completed, and mentors must undertake training provided by the service for the role.

There are also compulsory group supervision sessions, every 4-6 weeks, lasting 1.5hrs. They are run by Bromley Y staff members of the mentoring team.

How can I become a mentor?
If you would like to find out more about the mentoring scheme or are interested in becoming a mentor, please info@bromleyy.org We are currently reviewing our recruitment process and we would be very pleased to hear from you. 

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