Mentoring a young person
We've put together some resources for mentoring a young person to help you give your mentoring relationship the best chance of success.
At The Prince’s Trust, mentoring is the provision of personal support, assistance, encouragement and inspiration to young people during and following our programmes, particularly at a time of transition usually and over a sustained period of time.
At the start of your mentoring relationship, both mentor and mentee should complete a mentoring agreement (docx, 44kb) which sets out the 'rules' for your mentoring relationship.
Supporting a young person to set their own goals is a vital part of a mentoring relationship. We have designed a Personal Development Plan to allow the mentee and mentor to set goals and measure progress during their mentoring relationship.
The Personal Development Plan is an optional tool most commonly used by mentors. It is designed to be completed by both the mentee and mentor at agreed stages.
- 1st report: this should be completed after the second or third mentoring meeting
- 2-3 months check in: this should be completed after a two to three month stage to allow for reflection
- 5-6 month check in: at this stage the report can be used as an additional check-in stage, before a further six months support is undertaken, or final report to end the relationship if development is no longer happening or a positive outcome has been achieved
You can download a Pro-forma PDP (doc, 46kb) for your own mentoring relationship.
What to include?
The goals identified should be a mixture of short term and longer-term goals. They could also focus on soft skills such as motivation and confidence, as well as more tangible hard results such as achieving employment. Goals may change after each month, if new goals are identified or amended.
(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Specific)
Any other comments?
This is an opportunity to highlight any additional information that the Volunteering Executive may need to know. This could make reference to the best form of contact, any additional support needs the mentee has (such as requiring to meet in a Prince’s Trust building) or anything else.
Each check-in point offers the opportunity for the mentee and mentor to reflect on how they feel the mentoring relationship is going, and if it should be continued.
It may be the case that progress isn’t being made through a lack of commitment from one party of the relationship, a clash of personalities, or that a mentor with a different background (in industry) would be more suitable.
Alternatively, you may feel that progress is being made and both parties are happy for the relationship to continue. Use this section as an opportunity to highlight any successes that have been made and to justify your decision to continue, or end the relationship.
Throughout your mentoring relationship, you can use this selection of worksheets which are designed to support young people to structure their steps forward.
Mentor reporting is a vital aspect of ensuring that the support we provide to our young people is the best possible. These reports allow us to track progress, identify where we need to improve support and access funding. All volunteer mentors are required to submit mentor reports to their Trust contact at least once a month.
Download and complete an electronic form and return this to your Trust contact within 48 hours of the meeting:
What to include?
The form allows the mentor and young person the opportunity to:
- Reflect on progress which has been made since the previous meeting
- Record any actions which come out of the meeting
- Add further comments (you may wish to highlight any important developments or concerns you have)
- Highlight any positive outcomes or steps taken by the mentee since their last report
It also offers the opportunity for the mentor and young person to reflect on any improvement in ‘soft skills’ such as communication or confidence.
Why are reports important?
Reports allow us to identify themes around the support our young people need in this kind of relationship, which can impact the training we provide and the resources we develop. On a more practical level, reports enable us to track the impact that a mentoring relationship is having on a young person.
The impacts of not reporting can be far reaching and may lead to:
- The Trust not knowing the current status of each of our young people – are they being effectively supported or not?
- The increased likelihood that our young people’s businesses will fail because they have not been given timely and appropriate support (applicable to the Enterprise Programme only)
- programme and volunteer staff being rendered ineffectual through lack of information and therefore unable to provide full support to our young people
- An inability to achieve an improvement in our performance year on year
- A significantly reduced ability to bid for funding due to the lack of supporting evidence
- Serious implications with funding if we are unable to demonstrate positive outcomes with clients through mentor contact
- The effectiveness of the mentor process being impossible to assess
Please be aware that some Mentor Meetings Reports may differ from region to region. Speak to your local Volunteer Contact to ensure you are using the correct form.
All Prince’s Trust mentoring relationships have to come to an end eventually.
For Business Mentors and young people the expected duration is two years with an optional third year. For Mentors and young people, the expected duration is six months with an optional further six months.
As a mentoring relationship comes to an end, mentors and young people should prepare themselves accordingly, with careful plans to allow a winding down process. It is at this point that having established professional boundaries will serve both mentors and young people well.
As a mentor, if you and the young person feel that they still need some support, you may wish to use your last meetings together to direct them to The Trust or other bodies that can provide ongoing support.
- Acknowledge – acknowledge the change early and discuss it together.
- Prepare – review the goals that you have been working towards and discuss what you hope to achieve before the mentoring relationship ends. Set up additional sources of support if required.
- Recognise achievements – endings are a great way of defining and celebrating the achievements of the relationship. Mentor reports and record sheets can be used to look back at how the young person has progressed.
- Celebrate your achievements – think about nominating young people for the Celebrate Success Awards.
- Review and evaluate – identify the lessons that have been learned and what’s changed over the period of your mentoring relationship. Review your Personal Development Plan (if you have used one) to measure the progress that the young person has made.
- Future friendship – you may wish to stay in contact with each other on your own behalf. This would not be within the terms of The Prince’s Trust programmes or the volunteer role and is your own personal choice.