Mentoring in the Community
A new form of mentoring is evolving that is well suited to our contemporary society and that is mentoring in the community. It is one of the fasted growing social movements of our time as there are millions of volunteers the world over making themselves available to help others for a variety of reasons; for combating social inequalities, for re-engaging older people or for helping the disadvantaged or at–risk young men and women, lone parents or refugees.
This particular form of voluntarism is one that focuses on the poor and that involves the middle classes as volunteers. They are activities involving the development of one-to-one relationships based upon trust and confidentiality with the goal of providing practical assistance.
Depending on the countries there are different types of projects, from the large international projects such as Big Brothers Big Sisters in the US, to small scale ones such as the APS (Approved Provider Standard) approved by the Mentoring & Befriending Foundation in the UK and to the corporate ones established by organisations as part of their corporate social responsibility.
This interest in ‘social’ mentoring stems essentially from an established need in the community; from a trend to volunteering and charity organisations that have sprung up the past 10/15 years and by the desire of giving something back to society particularly on the part of ‘baby boomers’ who had their formative years in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Getting involved in mentoring in the community can be a very rewarding experience and is also an opportunity to achieve and develop new skills but also to engage and put something back into the community.
To find out more and get involved with mentoring in the community in the UK:
The Princes Trust - http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/
Mentoring and Befriending Foundation - http://www.mandbf.org.uk/
Horsesmouth - http://www.horsesmouth.co.uk/