1) Will I work with the same mentee each week?

Yes. Evidence shows that a long term mentoring partnership is the most effective in helping young people to reach their potential. It also means that you will see the impact you are making and know that the time you are putting in is making a big difference.

2) What is a DBS check?

A DBS is a criminal records check. To do this, we'll send you the link to complete a short online application, once complete you'll need to bring 3 ID documents along to the training (or if you forget to ReachOut's offices!)

Mentors typically use their passport, driving licence and a recent utility bill/bank statement. For a full list of the IDs we can accept see here

It's best to start completing your DBS check as soon as possible after we send you through the instructions - as they can take a couple of weeks and you can't start on a project until it is completed.

3) What if I have previous convictions?

This doesn't necessarily stop you from mentoring with us, let us know as soon as you decide you want to volunteer and we will discuss the disclosure and the circumstance with you.

4) Who can be my referees?

As part of our best practice safeguarding process, you need to give us the details of two referees who you have known for at least two years who can provide a reference for you.

You can provide both referees from Group 1, or one referee from Group 1 and one referee from Group 2:

Group 1:

  1. Teacher/tutor at university/school
  2. Current/previous employer
  3. Other professional who knows you (e.g. social worker, solicitor – non-family member and not a friend)

Group 2:

  1. Character reference e.g. family friend or neighbour, but not a member of your family

We will send you a link to supply reference details when you sign up. Please make sure you let them know that we will be in touch!

If you are concerned about references or finding two referees, please contact the relevant volunteer co-ordinator at ReachOut:

London - Harriet

Manchester/Oldham - Davy

5) Will I be trained?

All volunteers complete one mentor training session before starting with ReachOut. It takes 3 hours and is always held in a central London or central Manchester location. You will be sent a list of available training sessions when you sign up.

Around 20 mentors attend each training session so it is a great place to meet other mentors and ask any questions.

The training covers four areas:

  • The evidence behind our mentoring model so you know that what you are doing is best practice
  • Project logistics - focusing on the specifics of the programme - primary or secondary
  • Safeguarding
  • Mentoring skills

At the training we will also check the documents that you need for your DBS check so don't forget to bring them!

After the training we will send you a link to an online safeguarding refresher with a short quiz just to make sure that you feel fully prepared to deal with any safeguarding issues.

6) When and where are the mentoring programmes?

Our programmes run in primary and secondary schools in Greater Manchester and London from Monday to Thursday each week in term time.

Click here to see a map of our London Programmes locations and timings.

Click here to see a map of our Greater Manchester Programmes locations and timings.

7) Are my travel expenses paid?

Yes - we pay reasonable travel expenses in line with our volunteer policy. Ask your Project Leader how to claim.

Want to sign up? Take the first step here.