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Celebrating National Mentoring Day - Inspiring Scotland


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Celebrating National Mentoring Day

intandem is a Scottish mentoring programme which supports young people looked after at home. Volunteer mentors make the programme possible and the reason we’re able to make a real difference in the lives of young people.

A consistent, caring mentoring relationship gives children and young people the foundation to overcome trauma experienced in the past and most importantly intandem, offers a place for a young person to have fun. Mentors also create happy memories with young people.

To celebrate National Mentoring Day, Rachael who volunteered as an intandem mentor with partner charity Move On  shares what it’s like being a mentor and why she got involved.

What interested you in becoming a volunteer mentor?

Hello, I’m Rachael! I’m 27 years old and live in  Midlothian.  I’m a full-time civil servant with a keen interest in photography.

I was interested in doing something to help kids in my local area and to give something back to the community. After a bit of research, I thought mentoring would be a great way to support and encourage a young person.

What sort of training did you do before becoming a volunteer mentor with Move On?

I took part in a comprehensive training programme with Move On before being matched with a young person . The training took place every Saturday for 10 weeks and covered areas such as: child protection, prejudice and discrimination, boundaries and identifying different types of abuse.  I attended each session and completed supplementary homework tasks.

What support is available to you as a volunteer mentor?

I had a dedicated development worker from Move On who was always on hand to give advice, updates and support. Move On also run regular training sessions which are open to volunteers to sign-up.

What sort of activities did you do with your young person?

We enjoyed swimming, trampolining and library visits to read my young person’s favourite book ‘Grampa’s Great Escape’ by David Walliams. On some occasions we would visit a café for a bite to eat and a chat. During Covid-19 we mainly went for walks in the local area. We would always take a pair of binoculars for birdwatching and an instant camera to take photos for my young person’s journal. We also list the birds that we see on our walk.

What did you enjoy most about being a mentor?

The thing I enjoyed most was our conversations. . He made me laugh and I enjoyed being in his company. He is intelligent and funny and always had a great story or interesting fact to tell me. I found it very rewarding. We had such a good trusting relationship and I am pleased that he felt able to talk to me about anything he wanted to.

What’s your best mentoring memory 

For my young person’s birthday, we went to the cinema to see the movie ‘CoCo’. We got popcorn, chocolate and tango ice blasts! We both enjoyed the movie so much we spent the whole car journey home singing the main song ‘Remeeeeeember me…’ from the top of our lungs.

What difference does having a mentor make to the life of your young person?

I think a mentor can make a huge difference to the life of a young person.

A mentor is someone who genuinely cares and always has an open ear to listen to the good things and the bad without judgement.

A young person can enjoy new opportunities, try something new, develop socially and grow in confidence.

What skills has being a mentor taught you? 

I have developed strong communication skills which I think is central to a successful mentoring relationship. I have found that active listening is key to understanding how a young person is feeling. Being responsive, by showing interest, empathy and understanding, made my young person feel confident in talking and sharing things with me. These transferrable skills are essential in many areas of life.


intandem is a national mentoring programme, managed by Inspiring Scotland and funded by Scottish Government and The Robertson Trust. Intandem supports a  portfolio of 13 partner charities, providing weekly mentoring for young people aged 8-14 years, living at home on a compulsory supervision order or in kinship arrangements.

Find out more on becoming a volunteer mentor.



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