This blog entry comes at the end of our first mentoring and befriending training course. It is compiled from the feedback of those who took part, and I’d like to say a big thank you to them for their attendance and commitment. We were delighted to hear it had been “a very enjoyable experience”!
Trainee mentors felt the best things about the course were “the tutors, staff and people I have been training with” and the “friendly atmosphere and common sense approach to the subject”. They felt “very well prepared” for their role as a mentor, but also acknowledged that they would only really know that the role was right for them when the work begins.
One trainee said “the course has given me a real sense of purpose. I always look forward to coming and my personal confidence and self-esteem has grown a lot.” This was, of course, excellent news as building confidence is essential to the success of the project. Other mentors have acknowledged, in planning meetings and the steering group, that confidence is the starting point for so many things, such as joining groups and embarking on new experiences.
It was also good to hear that the course had been challenging, too. Mentoring is not an easy option, and our training course tries to reflect that (without putting people off). Participants said that had learned things about their own communication and listening skills, and interpersonal relationships. Listening is a key part of the mentoring relationship and something we focus on in the training – someone once said to me “are you listening, or are you waiting to speak?” and this has always stayed with me as a good example of how we probaby all need to learn to listen more actively!
Meanwhile, we are hoping that we’ve seen the last of the snow, as the bad weather has undoubtedly impacted on the project. A number of the groups we wanted to attend to promote the project have been cancelled.
I will leave the final comment to one of our trainees:
“I am looking forward to contributing whatever I can to Scope and the mentees I will be given to befriend and empower. I am very happy to have been given this opportunity. Thanks to all of you for making this possible”
Our Generation is a free mentoring and befriending service that offers one-to-one support for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions over the age of 50.