Frequently asked questions

We hope the following questions and answers cover everything you’d like to know. If we still haven’t answered your question, please get in touch with us directly on 0207 281 5858 x228.

1. What do I need to know about being a mentor with Chance UK?
  • The mentoring lasts for 1 year
  • Session take place weekly either at weekends or after school (doesn’t have to be the same time each week)
  • Each session lasts between 2-4 hours
  • You will need to spend a bit of time planning sessions and filling in a report about the session each week
  • You will receive 3 days of training, be vetted (DBS and references) and interviewed
  • You will be fully supported throughout the year and attend monthly supervisions with your Programme Manager
  • Expenses up to £30 a month for sessions and up to £40 a month for travel will be reimbursed
  • You will have no contact with your child once the year is over
  • As a mentor, you will attend a graduation ceremony together with the child, at the end of the mentoring year
2. What does training cover? Do I have to do all three days?

You will need to complete all three days of Mentor Training. Some key training elements include:

  • The Chance UK solution-focused approach, the theory that underpins all our work with children and families
  • Identifying your own inner resources and developing them in children
  • How to plan and run your mentoring sessions
  • Communicating with children
  • Keeping children safe and keeping yourself safe
  • Meet active mentors (and possibly some of the children being mentored)
  • Discussions with other trainees and the staff team
  • Interview booking.

Trainees repeatedly tell us Chance UK training is enjoyable and worthwhile.

3. What does the interview cover?

An interview with two staff members will be arranged on the last training day. It will include questions about Mentor Training; questions about you and what makes you tick; and questions to make sure we match you well. Once this is complete and we have seen your DBS certificate and two professional references, the staff team will collectively decide whether to formally accept you as a Chance UK mentor. If you’re accepted, you’ll be added to our matching list to be matched with a child.

4. Can I mentor if I have a criminal record?

Maybe. You should mention this on your application form, and contact the Senior Programme Manager for the area you wish to mentor in as soon as possible to discuss any cautions or convictions privately and in confidence. Your DBS certificate will only be seen and verified by these select senior staff.

5. What happens if I’m not accepted as a mentor?

A senior member of staff will explain to you why the team came to that decision. If you’d like a formal letter outlining this, we’d be happy to do this for you too.

6. How much time does it take to start mentoring a child after the training?

As a rough guide, a potential mentor should expect to wait 4-6 months from submitting their application to being matched with a child. This usually depends on how soon we have your DBS certificate and two professional references – or if we currently have children that would best benefit from your skills. Matching can be as quick as a few weeks to up to six months in unusual circumstances. If you have been accepted and are waiting to be matched, please stay in touch – especially to update your contact details!

7. What will I have to do on sessions?

This mainly depends on the child’s interests, what you’re willing to try, and the skills you decide to develop together! Local parks, libraries and cafés can form regular venues for working on projects or practicing a chosen activity. Other venues such as sports centres, museums or galleries offer good opportunities for having fun, getting to know each other, using up energy, trying something new – or learning what the child isn’t interested in! Every session is a new opportunity for progress or learning.

8. Can I take a holiday during my mentoring year?

Yes of course! If you are planning on taking any extended holidays of more than 3 weeks at any one time during the mentoring year, this may not be the right time for you to mentor a child. But normal holiday breaks are fine.

9. I’m quite often busy in the evenings and weekends. If I’m free during week days can I mentor then?

During term time you would need to be available to do weekly mentoring sessions either after school or at weekends. Mentoring sessions always happen outside of school time.

10. How much contact would I have with the child’s family?

All your sessions will be booked via the child’s parent/carer. You will collect the child from them (or another agreed safe adult) at their home.

11. Can I use social networks or email to keep in touch with the child?

No. Your mentoring relationship is ‘real-life’ only.

12. Am I too old or too young to be a mentor?

Mentors have to be over 18 years old. There is no upper age limit – we’re interested in what you can do rather than how old you are.

13. Can I take the child out with my friends or family?

No. The child you mentor can only ever have contact with you.

14. Why do you have a no-contact policy at the end of the year?

We take responsibility for all the relationships that we create. With Chance UK supervising and managing these relationships we can ensure that everyone involved is appropriately safeguarded. The final months of the year are collaboratively planned with the child, discussed with everyone involved, and the child’s progress over the year is celebrated. Mentoring is also a chance for the child to experience the positive and planned ending of a relationship. At the end of the mentoring year you will sign a no-contact contract agreeing no more contact between the child and you. If the child or family tries to contact you after the mentoring is over, please let us know and we will check with them that everything is okay.