A Mentor’s Perspective

By Sam Forsdike | April 09 2019

A Mentor’s Perspective

Blog Category: General updateBlog Tags: Education and Education

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    At each Jobs Club session we are supported by a team of amazing volunteer mentors from the local business community who work on a 1-2-1 basis with our guests to support them with developing and following through a personal plan based on their employment aims and dreams.

    One of our mentors has written about her experience volunteering at Jobs Club, which we think captures the heart and spirit of the Employment Support Pathway!

     

    “Over the past 3 months I have had the privilege to work as a volunteer mentor with Jobs Club, working one on one with one of the young men using the service. I decided to sign-up to volunteer with Jobs Club in part due to a growing interest in actively supporting the local community where I work particularly in relation to the homelessness crisis, an issue that I felt acutely aware of passing through Euston Station each day.

    From what I read in advance, Jobs Club seemed like a fantastic volunteering initiative that provided the structure for a meaningful mentoring relationship between mentor and guest, as well as the training and support to help you make the most of your weekly lunchtime mentoring slot. When I contacted C4WS to express interest in Jobs Club, Sam was really helpful and got me booked into a lunchtime training slot. This training walked you through the format and resources used in Jobs Club and also provided an opportunity for a number of new mentors to collectively ask questions about the remit of the role and how best to support people you work with.

    Following the training you are matched with a client and can begin as soon as you’re able to. The team at C4WS have developed an excellent workbook that can be used on a weekly basis with your mentee, as well as information on current jobs and volunteering opportunities, so that there is no expectation or requirement for you to prepare materials for mentoring in advance, which made it a much more manageable opportunity alongside work commitments.

    One of the best parts of this volunteering opportunity is working with the team at C4WS, who are very supportive and welcoming each week and over email in advance of sessions, going out of their way to help you and the clients that use their service. Through their personal knowledge of everyone’s individual situations, as well as their warmth and professionalism, they have created a friendly and positive environment at Jobs Club, which fosters a focused and open attitude among everyone involved. I really enjoyed working with the young man I was paired with to help him move towards his jobs goals. As you meet on a weekly basis you can build on new skills required for job applications and provide a consistent presence to support with this and developing their confidence. One of the most rewarding aspects of our mentoring partnership was knowing that the skills we covered in our lunchtime sessions were skills he could take forwards with him outside of Jobs Club to help him to achieve what he wants to. The flip side of this was that the process for writing often took longer than expected, but this was important as by creating and populating the documents himself, he was developing skills and a bank of resources that he could use in the future.

    Overall Jobs Club is an excellent initiative for both clients and mentors. I’d highly recommend it for anyone looking to work directly with people in their local area and support them to achieve positive outcomes relating to work and their lives more broadly.”

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WRITTEN BY

Sam Forsdike