A turning point

Witnessing progress from a mentor’s perspective

Multiple-time mentor, Sally, shares her recollections of a pre-lockdown mentoring session where her child’s increased resilience and social-emotional skills became abundantly clear.

This felt like a turning point.

Mentor, Sally

“I picked J up from school and he immediately showed me three badges he’d been awarded. The most important one was for Scholar of the Year – out of over 200 students J got this badge, meaning he was best all-rounder in his year. This is a huge achievement. While he was telling me this he said hello to a couple of friends from school which makes me think that he is more confident around friends. We went and bought him a falafel wrap to celebrate.

The second thing that happened was that he managed to de-escalate a conflict he was having with another boy at school, one his gran thought would end up with J receiving a black eye!

The boy had mocked J for his haircut, pulled off his hat and thrown it across the classroom. J lost his temper and charged at him. But he repaired the problem by looking at his Negotiating book (which reminded him to create a human connection in all negotiations) and by concentrating on his mentoring goals (one of which was not to have stress at school). J went up to the boy the next day and explained that people had thrown his hat around at primary school and he had become sensitive about it. He also apologised for charging at him. I thought this was a really clever way of diffusing a situation.”

With still 4 months left of mentoring, J is making great progress with his mentor.  His attention span is longer, he is better able to regulate his mood swings, and is able to talk about his feelings.

Despite the fact that weekly mentoring sessions have had to move online again for now, J is still enthusiastic and the connection between him and his mentor remains strong.

He is a remarkable boy. He wants to do well and be a better person. He also has a lot of love for family members.

Sally, J’s mentor

That’s why for 25 years we’ve put solution focused mentoring at the heart of our approach – it empowers children to discover the more resilient, confident, positive person inside themselves.

Do you know someone who would make a good mentor? Share this story with them, and encourage them to find out more and apply on our website.

Names in this story have been changed for confidentiality.