Why did you volunteer to be a mentor at The Door?
I have been looking for a charity or community organisation that I could volunteer for and be involved in. When I heard about The Door and its valuable contribution to young people and families in the Stroud community I was drawn to find out more. The mentoring programme seemed a perfect way to offer my services and be involved.
How well did the training equip you for mentoring?
The mentoring programme set the framework and has given me the confidence as a mentor to know how I can help support, guide and encourage a young person to believe in their self and hopefully achieve their potential.
How were you feeling before you were matched to your mentee?
Excited to be involved and keen to get started. Once I was told that I had been matched I was intrigued as to how mentoring will work for someone so young (11).
Tell us how that first session went?
I realised that with a young person there could be a tricky initial period before they might begin to feel comfortable in my company and even longer before even considering creating a mentor/mentee relationship. However, after showing an interest in my mentee’s hobbies and interests we quite quickly seemed to form a lovely rapport that will easily build as we get to know each other better.
What did you think about your mentee after the first session?
I was surprised how musically talented and confident my mentee is. She did talk a lot which could be nerves but it did mean there was plenty of chat and conversation flowed easily which I hope will make the relationship grow smoothly. I discovered quite quickly there were a few interests that we shared and that will be a great starting point for us.
Have you got some ideas about how to support your mentee already?
It will definitely take a few sessions together to gain my mentees trust, with her being so young. Also we may need to explore the mentor/mentee process together to ensure her understanding of our ongoing relationship. Once that has been achieved then I hope by creating a safe and friendly atmosphere between us it will give her confidence to progress her personal achievements together.
The Door is always looking for volunteers who can offer an hour a week to become a mentor like Karen. For more details visit thedoor.org.uk/mentoring
A £10 donation could match a volunteer like Karen to a young person who needs the support of a mentor. Donate today at thedoor.org.uk/donate