Guest post from Ann who is a mentor at Scope’s Our Generation project.
A friend asked me if I’d like to be a mentor for Scope, she thought I would be good at it, but my illness and looking after my mum left me very vulnerable emotionally and physically. I did not think I could do it at the time, I did not think I was good enough to do that sort of thing. She laughed and said “You have been a mentor for years, you just have not realised it.”
I was very nervous about my first mentoring class. I have hearing difficulties and wondered if this would be a problem. The last time I did any writing was at school 43 years ago. Would I show myself up? Would I be able to keep up with other people on the course? I felt so vulnerable.
When I met my fellow trainee’s I realised we all had our own fears as we listened and learned and discussed different scenarios. I took notes in the class and in my nervousness made silly mistakes, but found they helped me when I read through them at home, so this is where I filled in and wrote out my work without any pressure.
During the course we were asked whether we wanted to go in for the exam and a certificate or just do the class work. The choice was ours. Again I was very nervous about this. Would it be hard? Could I do it? Would I feel like an idiot if I didn’t pass? I thought long and hard about it and decided as I was doing the work anyway I would try my best and see what happened.
If you do not try you will never know what you can achieve.
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.