I was coming round to my exams and I felt like I needed to take my mind off things. I thought instead of wasting my time alone I could help others. My mum looked up some opportunities and she showed me the Get Connected Peer Mentor opportunity. It was due to finish just as my exams finished, so it was perfect fit me in my current situation.
I’ve pretty much been a foster carer my whole life, so I’m used to caring for people. I’ve worked for a charity before when I was completing my DofE award. Because of that experience I felt like I could really help on Get Connected.
Through the programme I’ve learned to work with groups of young people because you’re not just looking out for your mentee – you’re helping them integrate into a group. Sometimes you have to explain to other young people why your mentee acts the way they do, which required a bit of public speaking.
“The programme has helped me to feel confident engaging with different types of people”
I really enjoyed seeing my mentee make more friends and speak to people. That was one of the goals we had set. It put a smile on my face to see him looking forward to being social and making new friends.
The programme has helped me to feel confident engaging with different types of people, both young and old. I feel that my social skills have improved, as well as some sporting ones, as many of the activities we took part in were very active!
I’m now focusing on my studies and getting my A-levels. After that, I want to get an apprenticeship in something to do with engineering.
The advice I would give to others who might be considering joining the Get Connected programme as a Peer Mentor would be; if you plan on going into hospitality or caring for others this would definitely be the perfect opportunity for you. You get to meet many different types of people and learn about their behaviours and needs.
CXK’s Get Connected is a peer mentoring project matching young people together for structured activities based in Maidstone, Dartford and Gravesham. There are currently vacancies available for both Mentors and Mentees. Find out more on our Get Connected page.