Our volunteer mentors provide support and guidance to refugees living across North and East London. They meet regularly with their mentee, developing a strong mentoring relationship. There is no standard content for a mentoring session because all mentoring relationships are different, and the mentees’ needs vary. With regular support from the project coordinator, volunteers learn to adapt to their mentee’s needs while maintaining boundaries, autonomy and trust.
You do not need any specific experience. However, the RISE project focuses on employment and therefore it is necessary that you have some experience of seeking employment, writing CVs, going to job interviews, or working in the U.K. When possible, mentees will be matched with volunteers who have experience in a specific sector of employment, depending on their professional aspirations.
After an interview, reference and DBS check, prospective mentors are invited to a volunteer training day where they learn more about refugees in the UK, the mentoring role, maintaining boundaries and safeguarding practices.
Mentors meet up with their mentees for 5 hours every month, usually approx. 1h per week, for a period of six months.
The mentoring sessions take place in a public space, usually a café or a parc if the weather is warm. When possible mentors and mentees are matched according to where in London they live/work. They agree to meet in locations that suit them both.
After training day, volunteers will be contacted by the project coordinator. Please note that this can take a few weeks. The project coordinator will provide information about the potential mentee and set up a first meeting. During this first meeting the mentor and mentee will be introduced and some goals will be set. They will then be left to set up the following meetings independently. Ongoing support will be provided by the project coordinator through regular email and telephone contact during the six months period. There will also be some occasions to meet other volunteer mentors and receive further training.
Yes, expenses are covered for both mentor and mentee. This includes travel and refreshments.
There is no single destination from which our mentees come from but most of them come from African or Middle Eastern countries.
Not all our mentees are in employment. Some of them are currently looking for work or studying to improve their English skills.
Mentees’ levels of English vary. However, they all have at least very basic conversational level English.
The project coordinator will help facilitate the end of the mentoring period so that both mentor and mentee feel prepared and comfortable with the transition out of mentoring.