Who are you?
My name is Phoebe Gittins, I am 20 years old and studying French and History BA at King’s College London. I am originally from Newcastle upon Tyne and moved to London to start university in September 2017.

How did you find out about ReachOut and what made you want to volunteer as a mentor?
I always knew I wanted to volunteer in some way when I came to university. At my Fresher’s Fair, the bright orange balloons at ReachOut’s stall were eye-catching enough for me to sign up. Despite the madness of those first few weeks of university, (and thanks to the perseverance of the mentor recruitment team!), I joined the North Harringay Primary School Club project for Year 6 children.

How did your project go?
I liked everything about my project: our Project Leader Sally, the other mentors, the mentees, the sessions and even the football. We had such a lively group and I enjoyed the atmosphere in the room both during quiet, working time and the activities.

What were the main challenges and favorite moments of mentoring?
One of the biggest challenges I faced during my time mentoring was when we heard that one of my mentees, unfortunately wanted to stop attending the club. We were building a good relationship and I could not understand why he would want to finish early. Speaking to him at the next session, I encouraged him to stay until the end of the year; I soon realized that by using my own Staying Power and motivating my mentee to do the same, both he and I developed so much as young people. My favorite moment was filling out the booklet pages during the last session of the year with my mentee, and watching him realize how much improvement he had made over the year.

Why did you decide to do an internship at ReachOut?
I wanted to do an internship at ReachOut so that I could learn about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of a charity, having volunteered as a mentor and felt truly inspired. I believe in the charity’s mission, so to gain this experience in the fundraising sector suits my personal and career development perfectly.