Starting Point Values – Calum’s Experience

Hello everyone. I’m Calum and you might remember me. I’m the one who pumps out all those blogs like the one you’re reading right now. I’m also a volunteer and mentee at Starting Point. I haven’t done a blog about myself since the launch of the new website, so I think it’s time for a little update.

Recently I wrote three blogs about Starting Point’s key values and have decided to conclude the small series with a finale from my own view and experiences. Without further ado, let’s get started.


If you don’t remember, Unlocking is the value of finding a young person’s potential and fulfilling it through tailored support.

It’s a common theme with me that I cannot see my own potential. Many people say I have it, from Sam the Project Manager, my two mentors, and even my driving instructor. They all say I have the potential to succeed, perhaps greatly, if I simply have confidence in myself. However, it’s hard to see something about yourself that everybody else can.

My personal experience with Unlocking has been more through finding my personality group and being given new opportunities such as writing blogs and articles that have truly allowed me to see that my potential is in writing and anything to do with the English language. My confidence has also risen, so maybe that can be part of Unlocking as well.


Enabling is the value of sustaining a positive change so a young person can achieve their goals.

As I mentioned them before, the blogs for Starting Point and other opportunities have enabled me to keep writing and share them with a wider audience. I have also had the chance to interview people, both inside and outside Starting Point, and they have been nothing but kind and supportive, exactly what a person with low confidence needs.

When I first came to Starting Point, I was very shy, negative, and lacked motivation. But because of the Enabling value, Starting Point has caused me to become more outgoing, take a more positive outlook on life, and has given me motivation because only through them have I finally decided what I want to do for a job/career. If that’s not sustaining, then I don’t know what is.


Releasing speaks for itself, but I’ll happily explain it again. It’s the value of releasing a young person from mentoring into a bright and happy future.

Unfortunately, I am still a mentee and therefore cannot talk a lot about Releasing, though I have experienced it is one way. I have recently changed mentors. You’re now perhaps thinking that I did something terribly wrong and my previous mentor no longer wanted to work with me. Well calm yourself because that’s not true at all.

I was released from one mentor to another because we all agreed the time had come to put our foot on the accelerator a bit more and change gear. If we’re talking about Releasing in terms of car gears, then Releasing is gear five, with gear four being employment.


Looking back over almost two years of mentoring, I can see how Starting Point has used the three values to help me along the way. I don’t think underestimating them is a possibility, especially when each one is tailored to each individual Starting Point helps.

There’s still a journey ahead, but I feel we might reach that final gear quicker than we thought, and when it does come, perhaps I will use those values for people I might one day train or mentor.

You never know, right?

Starting Point Values: Releasing

Starting Point has three values that make up the core of the project. They are Unlocking, Enabling, and Releasing.

Eventually, the time comes where the birds must leave the nest. There is no telling when they will fly because people move at different speeds, but when they do, ensuring they have the best start possible is a must.

Releasing a young person from their mentoring with Starting Point can only be done after Unlocking and Enabling are completed. Without them finished, moving onto Releasing would not yield the best results and could hinder a young person’s potential future jobs and careers.

In some ways, Releasing is like school. Teachers teach you valuable knowledge that will help you reach future achievements, but schools cannot teach you forever. One day, the time comes when students will leave to forge the next chapter of their lives.

Stepping away from one thing into another can be scary. But there’s no reason to be if you can hit the ground running. That’s what Starting Point does, helping young people run and then letting them out the door into a bright new world.

The best part about Releasing is watching a young person go forward with confidence and courage, knowing they can see the opportunities available to them and can grab them.

Starting Point Values: Enabling

Starting Point has three values that make up the core of the project. They are Unlocking, Enabling, and Releasing.

The definition of Enabling is to give someone the authority or means to do something. In the case of Starting Point and mentoring, Enabling means giving young people the chance to make and sustain positive change in their lives.

There is no guideline to how these changes are created. Everybody has a different view of what is positive. In terms of mentoring, even just small things that might seem insignificant to others can result in a massive positive change to those doing them.

For example, getting a young person with anxiety or low confidence to apply for jobs will be tough, especially if they have a negative outlook. Therefore, focusing on smaller things that build their confidence and to overcome their anxieties can change their negative views into positive ones.

To ensure these positive changes are made and kept, Starting Point can set up a variety of different opportunities. These can be activities such as simply giving young people the chance to talk to someone, setting up voluntary roles which give experience, and mock interviews to allow young people to practise and improve their interview skills.

Through Enabling, Starting Point and mentoring can help make positive differences not only to job/career aspirations, but also to mental health, self-belief and more.

Starting Point Values: Unlocking

Starting Point has three values that make up the core of the project. They are Unlocking, Enabling, and Releasing.

Unlocking, the focus of this blog, means that every young person has potential that can be unlocked and fulfilled. The methods of unlocking potential can be different for every mentor and mentee. These methods could include things such as playing to a mentee’s strengths or developing areas they can grow in.

Many young people have talents that they know nothing about. Starting Point and its mentors help young people find and unlock their talent through tailored support, meaning it is different for every mentee depending on what support they need.

Support from Starting Point could be simple things such as throwing leadership roles onto mentees, putting them in new situations they have never tried before. Often, young people only need to be shown they have potential for them to see it.

Starting Point also helps build on a young person’s potential. For example, if someone is very good at communication, Starting Point will support them in using that potential to further their future careers. Even a simple thing like writing blogs could lead to a job offer.

Ever seen the movie Sister Act? The choir all have potential to be beautiful singers, but only when somebody comes along and brings out that potential do they suddenly become confident and successful.

The first step on any journey of transformation is identifying potential, unlocking and nurturing it, and then seeing it fulfilled. Doing this can take time, but it will be a step taken towards a bright and more hopeful future.