Mentoring Young People
Young people value mentoring for lots of reasons. It can help them develop their self confidence, support them through life changes, provide a channel to work through mental health challenges and give them skills for developing their career path.
Some of our voluntary and community sector in Suffolk offer mentoring programmes for young people - some are specific to a particular area in the county, or to a particular cohort of young people.
Could you be a mentor?
Voluntary organisations find that the demand for their mentoring programmes are increasing, and so look for new volunteers to train and support, to be able to expand the offer to more young people.
We know that there are many adults with the right skills and characteristics to nurture and support others, and that it is a very rewarding relationship to enter.
If you have good communications skills, listening skills and patience, and can commit an amount of time, mentoring could be a very rewarding ways of offering a guiding hand to many young people.
Some businesses and organisations support their staff to undertake paid voluntary leave to contribute to their local community - it is worth speaking with your HR team to see if this is something offered in your place of work. It could release you some time to undertake mentoring of young people.
How can I get involved?
We recommend that you contact your local youth organisation to find out if they offer mentoring programmes to young people.
Each organisation who offers mentoring will have a different approach to training and supporting their adult volunteers and may have different requirements in terms of the 'ask' of you in terms of time commitment.
You may work for an organisation who offers paid volunteering leave. Ask your HR team whether this is a benefit that your employer offers as you could use some of this time to support your mentoring relationship.
We hope to add to this section in the future with details of organisations that offer mentoring programmes so that you can contact them directly.
East Suffolk opportunities
Aged 50+? You could become a GrandMentor with Volunteering Matters
West Suffolk opportunities
Babergh and Mid Suffolk opportunities
The benefits to the Mentee
A survey of young people in Suffolk undertaken in autumn 2021 showed us that those who have expereinced a mentoring relationship, have really benefited from it and that they would recommend the experience to others.
To be part of a young person's journey to greater confidence, greater control of their future, is a very special role to play.
You can be part of that.
The scale of the need for mentoring
We know that the pandemic had a huge impact on young people and that the need for mental health support is now greater than ever. Services find it challenging to cope with the scale of the demand. Mentoring relationships can be a useful start for a young person to open up to a trusted adult and start to work through the issues which they find challenging.
A recent survey higlighted how Covid changed the landscape for young people;