"Thanks to my mentor I already feel more comfortable with making these decisions and finding my way after university"
As part of our offer to volunteers, Team Up provides each of our tutors with a mentor at their request. Using our extended networks, we carefully match them with someone who can provide guidance in their chosen career, with UCAS support or with more general coaching. Mentors are requested to meet with their mentee four times in total over the course of 6 months.
In March, the 2019 mentoring programme officially launched. At the launch event held at SOAS university, mentors were given training on how to best serve their mentees before being invited to hold their first meeting. So far, we have matched over 45 volunteers, of which 14 are sixth form students and 21 university students. They completed a short request form detailing exactly what they were looking for from their mentor; 10 of our volunteers were interested in teaching, 9 in finance, 8 in medicine and the remaining a range of requests from their mentors including advice on NGOs, law, engineering and media.
Larissa Kirkpatrick, one of our most dedicated volunteers who has completed more than ten programmes over three years, said the following: “I was struggling with finding a direction to head in as I finish university this year and was unsure of what path to follow afterwards. My mentor has been amazing so far and given me so many ideas on potential options for the upcoming changes I will need to face. Thanks to my mentor I already feel more comfortable with making these decisions and finding my way after university. The Team Up mentoring programme has been a great opportunity which is well structured and well-organised”.
Of course, the purpose of the mentoring programme is in great part to attract more and higher quality volunteers, which in turn helps us reach and positively impact more pupils. However, we also see it as a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to our tutors for all their hard work. After all, our success is down to our incredible team of 315 volunteers, who have delivered 8,226 hours of tuition to 1,106 young people in 27 schools across Greater London this year, enabling pupils to make an average of twice the expected progress in the equivalent time.