What is mentoring?

Discover more about mentoring and befriending with Carewise

What is mentoring and befriending for Young Carers?

Mentoring is a successful means of supporting Young Carers who require emotional and/or practical assistance. The support of a trained and screened volunteer mentor can help young people to develop skills and personal attributes, which can help them have the same access to opportunities as their peers.

What is the mentoring role?

Mentor (noun), an experienced and trusted advisor.

Young people are individually matched with a volunteer mentor who supports them. This can include listening, providing a means to access some leisure activities, and occasionally advocating on their behalf. Many participants will not previously have had the benefit of a consistent relationship with a non-judgmental adult outside of the family who respects and values them as an individual and assists them to identify and achieve goals.

Mentors develop positive and supportive relationships, which promote the development of self-esteem and confidence. Mentors encourage the young person’s involvement in a variety of social, leisure and educational activities with the aim of developing social networks, social and personal awareness, skills and interests. In addition, mentors can support participants in furthering their education and training.

What qualities do mentors & befrienders need?

In recruiting mentors, the project looks for the following qualities:

  • The ability to listen to and support young people
  • An interest in the welfare of young people
  • An understanding of some of the issues that face Young Carers
  • The capacity to work individually with a young person
  • A commitment to working in a way which does not discriminate against any groups in society
  • Attributes such as patience, tolerance, persistence, enthusiasm, sensitivity and warmth.

What commitment is required from mentors?

Some Young Carers may have experienced difficult relationships with adults and/or peers. It is important therefore that the project takes a consistent approach. For this reason, and so that the project will be successful, mentors are required to make a year’s commitment to mentor a young person for a minimum of 2 hours per fortnight. There will also be mentor induction training and some additional training thereafter, and regular supervision with project staff.

All travel expenses are reimbursed on completion of a travel expenses form. Activity money is reimbursed (on provision of a receipt) to the mentor.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact the office tel: 01237 479380 or email: marion@carewise.org.uk.