Volunteer – could you be a Mentor?

What do our mentors do?

PROMISEworks’ team of incredible volunteers are at the heart of our work. They are the people who make everything possible.  We are always looking to welcome new people to our volunteer team who want to perhaps learn new skills, meet new people and definitely make a difference. 

What makes a good PROMISEworks mentor?

An ideal mentor is someone who has time, who cares, who wants to communicate and have fun.

Who can be a mentor - what are the basic requirements?

A little time... 
Our training course is essential to equip you with the skills and knowledge you will need to go on to mentor. The course is 4 days, usually 2 week days and 2 Saturdays, held in various parts of the county. Once you have completed the training you need to be able to spare 2-3 hours either weekly or fortnightly to meet with your young person. 
The big questions we ask all prospective mentors to think about is can you commit to a relationship with a young person that will last 2 years? PROMISEworks mentoring is an “Attachment Theory” based model, you will find lots more information about attachment both here on the website and during the training course, in a nutshell we are trying to help a young person reassess how they form relationships and where they fit into their world and you can’t do that overnight! 
Of course, you can still have holidays, some of our mentors are away for a month at a time, there are lots of ways you can stay in touch with your mentee. 
If you are keen to mentor but know that you cannot commit to 2 years, please do still have a conversation with us… it may be that a young person has been referred to us that needs some slightly different support over a shorter period. 

A little life-experience 
There is no upper age limit to who can train to be a mentor, we rarely train anyone under the age of 21 for a number of reasons, the 2-year commitment mentioned above is one of them. But we have trained a number of volunteers in their early 20’s who have gone on to become outstanding mentors. You don’t need to have a tough childhood yourself to mentor, nor do you need to have had a perfect upbringing and been a top scholar, the normal highs and lows that most of us encounter during our lives are the shared experience amongst most of our volunteers. 

What about a criminal record? 
Having a criminal conviction does not necessarily mean you cannot mentor – not disclosing one to us will rule you out automatically. You will have to agree to a full enhanced DBS Check (no charge to you). 

My own transport? 
Well getting about in Somerset on public transport is a challenge, but if you feel able to do it then it is a useful skill to teach a young person, so no, you do not have to have your own transport but it would definitely be a bonus. 

The path to PROMISEworks Mentoring - our Training Programme

Complete an application pack by clicking here and here, or call us on 0300 365 1900 to make enquiries. Once we have received your completed pack, a member of staff will call you to arrange to meet up. This gives us a chance to talk through the scheme in as much detail as we can to make sure it is the right volunteering opportunity for you. 

Next you will attend one of our training courses. They are run over 4 days, usually 2 Fridays and 2 Saturdays, venues vary but are generally fairly central within the county. Please see the home page for the next organised dates.

Occasionally during the training, a volunteer may decide not to complete the course, or sometimes we may have a concern about an individual’s suitability to mentor. This is a recognised part of the recruitment process and will be handled with professionalism.

Please see the following short film showing feedback from the training

Once you have finished the training we will give you a form to complete, designed to help us with matching you to a young person. We will make an appointment to come and talk through the form with you, usually at home and it is at this stage that we complete all the paperwork for you to begin your mentoring. 

Introducing you to a young person – The Matching Process

The Case Holder will compare the needs of the mentee with that of the mentor and make a match.  This is a great deal of work which will be supported by the Manager. This takes place as soon as possible after the training, but we are dealing with young people and families who often have quite chaotic lives so sometimes this process takes a little longer. 

Case Holders – the crucial support to our mentoring volunteers

You will probably feel quite uncertain as you start to mentor, and this is where the support from your Case Holder will be invaluable. You will have a named Case Holder who introduced you to your mentee, but you will also have the back-up of the rest of the staff team should you need. Our phones are on 24/7 so if you have any concerns about the young person you are matched with you can always reach someone to talk things through. No need to wait for the next working day.

When you are planning what to do during your mentoring visits you may need to check with your Case Holder whether it is OK to undertake a particular activity. Please do, we can make most things possible, but we may need to gain some extra consent before you set off.

When you are more used to mentoring and the relationship with your mentee is going well, your Case Holder will support you with regular review meetings, a combination of phone based and face to face. These will give you the opportunity to talk through any problems you are encountering and celebrate all the successes.

Your Case Holder will also be the person who helps you to end the relationship with your mentee when you both feel the time is right, ensuring a positive ending for all concerned.

Are you ready to VOLUNTEER and explore becoming a PROMISEworks mentor?

Complete our application pack by clicking here and here, or call us on 0300 365 1900 to request a pack in the post or request a call back from us.

Once we have received your completed pack, a member of staff will call you to arrange to meet up, this gives us a chance to talk through the scheme in as much detail as we can to make sure it is the right volunteering opportunity for you.