Posted: 09 Feb. 2021 2 min. read

Sixty Second Insight: mentoring offers purpose

At my first mentoring meeting, at a school in Cardiff, the teacher told me that the kids were used to being let down.

“All I ask” she said “is that you don’t let them down”.  I was hooked from that moment, and I knew that we wouldn’t.

Seven years on, I’m a volunteer lead in Cardiff for Deloitte’s Teach First partnership programme, writing and co-ordinating programmes to help teachers and students reach their potential.  It’s the most valuable thing I’ve ever done.

Someone from outside a student’s school or home, encouraging them to do something they didn’t think they could, can give them an extra layer of belief. Later, when those students tell you they’ve gone on to do it, it’s amazing.

There are huge benefits for volunteers too – volunteering gives mentors a chance to give the very best of themselves for the time they spend with a student, which builds confidence on both sides.

I tell volunteers, “If there’s something you want to work on, do it volunteering”. For me it was public speaking in front of big groups of students - I never thought I’d have the confidence.

And maybe most importantly right now, mentoring offers purpose. Volunteering and wellbeing go hand in hand.

Our sessions continue remotely and that’s really important at such a tough time – and watching the lights switch on when you inspire a child can take your endorphin levels from zero to a million!

Having someone put their trust in you is an incredible responsibility.

Deloitte’s Teach First partnership is part of its 5 Million Futures programme, through which it aims to support 5 million people across North South Europe by 2030.

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