I have been mentoring with Starting Point Aspire for about a year now and I consider it a privilege to be involved with a young person’s life. My experience so far has given me a great boost knowing I have helped a young man feel better about himself.
Mentoring a young person has opened my eyes to the stresses and challenges young people today face on a daily basis. Mentoring has given me a focus and kept me thinking about how I can help in widening the options for my mentee which has involved a lot of research concerning anxiety and eating disorders. Mentoring a young person encourages you to challenge your own perceptions and ideas.
So far I have helped him overcome some emotional and practical issues. We have met up safely during the pandemic and had long walks in the cold eating sausage rolls! During this time we have discussed all sorts of issues including education, relationships, eating disorders, anxieties, the benefit system and VARS use in the Premier League! We respect each other’s views and standpoints but know we can challenge each other’s ideas and football team choices! We have built a good relationship and whilst we don’t always agree we both know that ultimately we can discuss and think about the options and which is the best course of action.
I have seen him grow over the year and it gives me a great deal of pleasure to see the now confident young man he has become. He now has the confidence to apply for jobs and benefits. He is still not the best at accepting ideas, like staying in education next year, but he is aware that it is his decision in the end and only he can make it.
I truly believe that in giving a little time to a young person you both grow and become the best people you can be!
Anyone considering mentoring should apply – mentoring has an enormous effect on the mentee but also gives you an increased feeling of self worth, immense satisfaction and keeps you young! Young people look at the world differently and this is refreshing. I am really happy that I decided to volunteer with Starting Point.