What is a mentor?

A mentor is a volunteer, just like the ones who have helped you on the camps and activity days. They will spend time just with you rather than in a group with other young people.

Mentors help different people in different ways. You will decide together what you would like them to help you with, and come up with a plan of what you will do to work towards your goals. For example, you may want to build on your confidence and join an activity club in your local area, or do some voluntary work and need a bit of extra help and encouragement to get this underway. It may be you just need someone to chat to about things, and some support through challenges you are facing.

They will:

  • Usually meet with you for a couple of hours every two weeks, although arrangements may sometimes vary
  • Take time to get to know you
  • Listen to you
  • Support and guide you
  • Help you to work towards your goals
  • Do activities and have fun with you

She’s made me much, much more confident and she’s continuing what I did before with the YAT, helping me to build my confidence and stuff like that.Freya, age 15

Who can have a mentor?

If we feel that having a mentor would benefit you, your Programme Manager and the Mentoring Manager will have a chat with you about it and explain a bit more about the scheme. We’ll give you some time to think about it, and talk to someone at home to decide if it’s something you’d like to do.

When I see my mentor I feel happy! She makes me feel very safe and comfortable and she’s very lively and bubbly which makes the sessions not boring but fun, enjoyable.Natasha, age 15

How does it all work?

If you’d like to go ahead, the Mentoring Manager will visit you to find out more about what you’d like from having a mentor. Then we’ll look for a volunteer mentor who we think would be a good match for you. It’s very important that we find the right person for you, and this could take a little bit of time. If we find a suitable mentor, we’ll introduce you to them and help you plan what you will do together. After that you’ll meet up with them every couple of weeks to do something fun together, and work towards the goals you have agreed.

It’s like a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s like the YAT has changed me … and for the better.Dylan, age 15