What made you decide to volunteer with ReachOut?

I have been mentoring since my A-levels, my sixth form got me involved in a maths mentoring scheme and I haven’t looked back since!

I have been a part of ReachOut for 2 years now, and the longer I do it the more I want to continue.

What has your mentoring experience been like?

Mentoring at ReachOut has given me time away from the stress of University life to focus on helping others. Mentoring has also been a fantastic way to contribute to society whilst developing my own social skills, having to work closely with other mentors as well as your mentee really has built up my ability to communicate my ideas as well as contribute as part of a team.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of working with young people and volunteering with ReachOut?

The ability to see real, tangible changes in young people's lives is a heart-warming experience. By being a part of a one to one mentoring scheme, I've witnessed the real impact I've had on these individuals, from seeing them conquer a topic they found hopeless, to developing a new outlook on their own prospects and abilities.

Is there anything you found challenging/difficult in your mentoring role?

My mentees have been shy at first, and it can be difficult to develop a connection with them during the beginning. ReachOut has been fantastic with providing all the advice, support, and training I have needed to possess the tools to address this, and sure enough along the way the shy behaviour vanished, watching these individuals come out of their shells.

Do you think that volunteering with us will help you in your job search? Has it influenced your career aspirations?

Volunteering with ReachOut has given me strong ambition to continue working with young people in such a setting, if not for my career, at least in the free time I can provide.

What have you learned from your overall experience? Do you think it has changed your outlook in any way?

I’ve learnt that a little bit of help and guidance can go a long way for those that need it, and that no child should be underestimated. Being a part of ReachOut has changed my perspective, opening my eyes to the dedicated work and altruism present in charities that want only to leave a positive impact.

We find that it is a bit harder to find male volunteers for our projects, why do you think that might be and how do you think this could be addressed?

It needs to be communicated that mentoring isn't restrictive, preconceptions about such volunteering being reserved for those wanting careers that focus on working in education or children can prevent individuals from investigating opportunities to help that are around them.

I believe the message that has to be transmitted is that anyone with patience and a willingness to help is more than welcome at ReachOut, my experience has definitely shown this.

Potential mentors should also be shown the benefits they themselves will gain, from improved communication skills to teamwork and leadership.

The programme itself has been amazing, both for me and the mentees involved. I truly believe as long as this is shown, many more people will want to be a part of it.

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