How long have you been a mentor with Regenerate?I have been a mentor at Regenerate for about a year.
What prompted you to become a mentor?
In April last year I went on a trip to South Africa to help on a project called Ten Thousand Homes with Regenerate. This was the first time I did something that impacted someone else’s life so positively on such a large scale while witnessing poverty first hand. When I returned to the UK I became actively involved with Regenerate to make a difference in my local community. After a few months, I was asked to become a mentor for a group of young people from the Roehampton estate which is a responsibility I happily accepted.
What does your mentoring role involve?
I am a mentor in two different groups. In the first, the C.V. Building Group, we aim to help young people develop and strengthen their CVs to apply for jobs. We also take them on field trips to build team confidence and to let them have fun they wouldn’t otherwise have such as go-karting etc. The second group is the Creative Hub, where a younger bunch of teenagers come together and focus on the arts and music equipment to harness their creativity. We also take them on trips out. Our most recent was to the Wimbledon Arts College Undergraduate Degree Show. We have previously taken both groups to Kenya too!
What do you find most rewarding about mentoring?
The most rewarding thing I have taken in from mentoring is seeing the change in perspective that these kids undergo which can often take the best of us years to understand. For example, acknowledging that people around the globe are our equals and realising that the suffering they withstand so strongly at such a young age kick starts all sorts of new thinking. Hearing them say that ‘material things don’t matter, people do.’
What do you find most challenging about mentoring?
I wouldn’t say that there are too many challenges. Some would be clashes between friends, which happens in teenage years. Another is getting the mentees to follow our health and safety guidelines when out on trips, UK or abroad. But from our first trips we have learned different ways of dealing with these factors.
What would you you say to someone thinking about becoming a mentor with Regenerate?
To anyone that wishes to become a mentor I would say just do it! It’s very rewarding and alters your perspective on the youth of today. There is a lot of potential to help change the world for the better and it’s our job to facilitate the environment that they need to grow. My time at Regenerate has opened my eyes and mind to a new perspective of the world.
Would you like to play an important role in effecting young peoples lives?
You too can have a significant impact in young peoples lives. Regenerate are looking for volunteer mentors to start in September working one on one with under 18s. If you’re looking for a rewarding experience, please contact Louise to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org.