Becoming a mentor is the best way to volunteer with us and make a real difference in the life of a young person seeking safety in the UK.
Why become a mentor?
Mentors often become important adults in the young people’s lives, acting as role models and helping to combat isolation and loneliness. Watch this video or read this blog post to meet some of our mentors and find out what it's all about.
“Getting to know my mentee over the past year has been an amazing experience for me. As trust really developed between us I realised how much he had been through, and how many challenges there still are in his life. Despite this he is positive and forward looking, which I find really humbling.” (Jen, volunteer mentor)
How can you become a mentor?
We ask that mentors start their one-hour mentoring sessions by 5:30 pm at the latest on a regular weekday (Monday-Friday) for a minimum of six months. Mentors are also required to attend evening training sessions in Central London (or in Oxford/Birmingham as appropriate), once before they start and at least once every six months.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer educational mentor with us, please read this Role description document. All mentors must complete our interview and training process and undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before being matched with a young person. Successful candidates will be asked to familiarise themselves with and sign up to RSN's safeguarding expectations as set out in the Volunteer Handbook.
You don’t need to be an expert! We run comprehensive initial training, and support and resource you all the way, including regular development training and social events.
Where can you mentor?
We run mentoring hubs across London, Oxford, and most recently in Birmingham, and are also in the process of expanding our services to Manchester. If you are interested in being an educational mentor with RSN please complete this mentoring enquiry form and our mentoring coordinators will get in touch with you when there are vacancies in your area.
Why can't you always mentor straightaway?
In the past few months we have been overwhelmed by the number of people contacting us to become an educational mentor. We are touched and excited by this unprecedented level of support and would love to be able to match every young asylum seeker or refugee with a mentor.
For the programme to run successfully, however, there is a lot of work that needs to be done behind the scenes. It is important that we build strong relationships with organisations who refer young people to us, such as social services, and really get to know the young people and their educational needs, in order to develop a bespoke educational plan. It is also crucial that we take time to meet and train our mentors, as well as taking up references and completing safeguarding checks. Finally we want to offer ongoing support and feedback to both the mentor and young person as the relationship progresses.
We're sorry that we can't match everyone straightaway and are grateful for your interest and patience as we seek to grow our capacity.
What else can you do?
Sometimes we have opportunities for people to volunteer at RSN in other ways. If you are interested in getting involved (eg in administration, communication, training or fundraising) please contact us with your CV, explaining your skills, availability and your ideas for linking up with RSN.