Jasraj mentored with us between 2020 – 2021 and rose to the challenge of planning virtual sessions throughout lockdown brilliantly.
Why did you decide to become a mentor?
I chose to become a mentor as part of my plan in 2020 to partake in 4 activities each year that give back to the community.
I also started a Psychology Masters at the start of 2020 as I wanted to work in Educational Psychology. As a result, I looked for opportunities to work with children where I could potentially have a big impact on a child’s life.
I came across Chance UK and the set up worked perfectly for me. I was very pleased with the training, the matching process and the length of time you mentor for. I knew it would give me great joy to be able to interact with a child, provide new experiences to them and hopefully some new skills to take forward.
What skills did you gain through your mentoring role?
One of the main skills I gained was belief in myself. Mentoring through lockdown threw up many challenges but each session allowed me to become more creative and think outside the box to make the sessions as much as possible.
Another skill I gained was patience. The mentoring role taught me to have patience in the growth of the relationship with my mentee and to let the mentee develop their own voice and take control of the session too.
Mentoring also taught me how to compromise effectively as there were instances where the mentee wanted to do a different activity than what I had planned for the session.
Why do you think it’s important to become a mentor?
You are not only helping another human, mentoring also helps you develop yourself.
For me, mentoring is only the beginning and with the skills I have gained I want to continue to support children to live confident and powerful lives.
Being a mentor is an amazing experience: I have had the pleasure to see a shy individual develop into someone who has become very comfortable around me and when they want to they will talk and talk and talk. Seeing a child express themselves, smile and share their silly moments with you is something very special.
What was your favourite memory or activity from mentoring?
My favourite activity from mentoring was Lego building with my mentee. We both bought the same Lego set and made it together online. This was one of my first sessions that last over an hour and it was great to see my mentee so involved and so happy to be creating something together.
What’s your top 3 tips for future mentors?
- Be patient and believe you can develop a good relationship even if the child is shy at first. Persistence is key.
- Get creative. Lockdown restricted what we could do but there are many great activities you can do online and the session budget from Chance UK enables you to think outside the box.
- Listen to your mentee. It is very important that the mentee has a voice and you can create a relationship and sessions where it is fun for both of you. Asking the mentee what they enjoy and don’t enjoy so much allows efficient time allocation to planning fun sessions.
Who were your childhood heroes?
My Mum and Dad as they provided so much for my brother and I. They were very relaxed and really encouraged us in anything we did.