I had always wanted to do some variation of volunteer work but this struck me particularly hard during the pandemic last year. As I have lived in Reading for the majority of my life I wanted to do something that would have a positive benefit on our community specifically. I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from a loving family and tertiary education but so many young people in Reading do not have those experiences.
After doing some research about volunteer groups in Reading, Starting Point looked like a great choice as not only would I be helping someone else, but also learning new skills myself. The whole team are incredibly friendly and set you up with all the tools you’ll need for mentoring, including formal training. You also have access to all the other mentors which is a lovely community to share with and learn from.
I started with my mentee in November 2020 on the Aspire programme and it’s been very rewarding (and at times challenging)! Just being able to build a friendship with your mentee is such a great feeling and achievement. I’m not only able to support him but I’m also learning a lot about myself and what’s important to me.
It’s certainly pushed me outside of my comfort zone but ultimately knowing I am bringing value to someone else’s life is incredibly rewarding. The Starting Point team are always there to help you and I’m really looking forward to the next few months with my mentee. If you’re looking to give back to the community and feel you could support a young person during a challenging time in their life then I’d definitely recommend exploring the options at Starting Point.
If you’ve been inspired by this story, find out more about mentoring with Starting Point here: https://startingpoint.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-mentors/