Meet the Mentor: Jack

Jack: "I've worked in the criminal justice system, and wanted to do something that might prevent a young person from going down this pathway."

About you

Hi, my name’s Jack, I live in west London and have done for most of my life.

After leaving school, I trained to be a nurse and have worked in many of the London hospitals. I’m a good listener and think I’m pretty un-shockable. My interests include health and fitness, and I go to the gym as often as possible. I also enjoy swimming and do yoga to relax.

About your mentoring sessions

I met with my mentee on a weekly basis, over about six months. Sometimes we would just sit and chat over a coffee, and for other sessions we would go to places that he was interested in, such as the Natural History Museum, and the Cutty Sark.

My mentee was facing a number of barriers – he had begun to be involved with gang activity, taking place in the estate where he was living. He also had a number of health issues, which really impacted his confidence and his mental health. We worked together to think more positively about his situations. He is now thriving in college, doing a plumbing course.

How would you describe mentoring?

I never pretended to have all the answers to my mentee’s questions or concerns, but my approach was that together we could work out possible answers and solutions. I would never tell him what to do – I don’t think that’s a mentor’s role – but I supported him in meeting the objectives we agreed in our first sessions.

My approach was definitely to respect my mentee’s opinions and points of view, even if I didn’t agree with them, but to ask questions to explain them. This worked really well and generated great discussion.

How did you get involved with Safer London?

I became involved with Safer London’s mentoring as I found myself with spare time wanted to volunteer. Safer London’s work appealed to me because of the client group they work with.

In previous roles, I’ve worked with young people who are involved in the criminal justice system, and wanted to do something that might prevent a young person from going down this pathway.

How did you find it?

The support and training provided to mentors by the Safer London team has been excellent and really beneficial. I have really enjoyed being a mentor and would recommend it to anyone. So much so, that I sometimes sit on the interview panel for Safer London’s new mentors!

We are now looking for a new pool of volunteer mentors to provide support to young people in London. 

Our volunteer mentors are a diverse group who provide 1-1 support to young people. As a mentor, you will have skills, empathy and work experience which enable you to build a trusted relationship with your mentee, and provide them with a range of support.

To find out more, visit our Get Involved page.