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Mentoring with Loren

Loren set out to support and share her expertise with young people during the third national lockdown in England

Young people have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Loren set out to support and share her expertise with young people during the third national lockdown in England.

Loren believes strongly in the power of mentoring – “I knew from personal experiences how having a mentor can empower young people to sound out ideas and seek advice.” She also researched how her project might be able to tackle existing issues. Loren discovered that 58% of young people say they are ‘not sure about their future’ (National Youth Trends, 2020), so she made it her mission to help combat this.

To initiate her mentoring sessions she reached out to her network, such as youth leaders, and gained their permission to advertise her sessions. She aimed to engage 2-3 young people and run 3 personalised sessions each.

Loren worked with 2 young people aged 16-23. Together they identified key areas the mentees wanted to work on. Loren shared what worked well for her and sign posted them to high quality resources. The mentoring sessions consisted of a range of topics, such as looking over their cover letters and CVs, to arranging volunteering, to increasing their knowledge on budgeting.

She has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Her personal success highlight was helping a young person who had been struggling to find a job. Together they looked through their cover letter and CV and their approach to applying for jobs. Loren’s experiences from working in HR and sitting on judging panels enabled her to create a PDF of tips and tricks, as well as giving them feedback. The young person has now secured a job. The young person reflected on their sessions, ‘The most important thing I learnt is that when writing cover letters, I need to seem confident and highlighting my strengths.’

The feedback from her mentees was collated to measure her success, some results from the young participants are outlined below:

When asked 5 key questions, all young people were constant or increased scores:

  • ‘I feel empowered about my life’
  • ‘I feel positive about my future’ (Scores increased 20%)
  • I know what my goals and aspirations are in life’ (Scores increased by 10%)
  • ‘I know where to go for help’ (Scores increased by 100%)
  • ‘I feel on top of my mental health’ (Scores increased by 10%)

All young people said they ‘completely agreed’ to the statements:

  • ‘I felt listened to’
  • ‘I found the sessions helpful’
  • ‘I found it accessible’
  • ‘I feel glad I took part’
  • 100% of young people who took part said they would ‘recommend it to other young people’ and would ‘take part if offered again’.

Written feedback from young people includes:

‘The sessions were incredibly helpful and comforting. It was nice to be able to talk about adult issues to another young person and feel listened to and comforted that it is normal to be worried about the future. I also really liked how personal the sessions were so that they were very flexible and involved current issues in my life. [I liked] how personal and flexible it all was and how friendly Loren was.’

‘I like how my mentor was so lovely and willing to help and share her expertise with me. She really cared about how I felt and what I needed help with.’

Overall, Loren reflects that this opportunity has shown her how much she knows – “it has empowered me to feel confident in my journey and insight. It’s shown me the power in helping others and sharing what works. It has opened my mind to what other young people are achieving and has made me driven to want to help.”

100%

'I know where to go for help'

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