Meet A Mentor – Hannah

What do you think of when you see the word MENTOR? Do you think of a young or older person? A man or a woman? Friendly and open, or strict and determined? Meeting a Mentor will hopefully answer these questions and allow you to get to know our mentors.

Hannah is a relatively new mentor at Starting Point, having started back in May 2017, meeting her first mentee the following month. She came to know about Starting Point through Sam, our Project Manager, as they go to the same church.

Hannah is originally from Devon, and moved to Reading over three years ago. She wanted to get involved in the community and meet and get to know new people. Ultimately, Hannah wished to be helpful and do some good in Reading whilst working at UCEM as a Marketing and Communications Manager.

Her father was a great inspiration for becoming a mentor. He had a similar organisation like Starting Point set up back in Hannah’s hometown and was very active in the community. But he wasn’t the only one who has inspired her over the years. A lot of people have given Hannah the motivation to help others and improve their lives.

Hannah believes that mentoring offers young people the chance to be listened to and express themselves, someone who will not judge them and will give them their full attention, and give them the resources and skills they need to succeed.

In terms of Starting Point itself, Hannah says that Starting Point is relaxed and has no schedule for its mentors and mentees, giving them more freedom, allowing the mentor to take a bigger leadership role. Hannah also believes Starting Point is great at supporting both mentors and mentees in whatever they need. It also helps that the mentors get together frequently so ideas can be shared and used in future mentoring sessions.

When preparing for her interview, Hannah took the 16 Personalities test, coming out as an ESFJ-T, known as the Consul. This means Hannah is a caring and social mentor, someone who is eager to help out and likes to be around people.

By mentoring a young person, Hannah has learnt perseverance and consistency. Her highlights include:

  • Seeing her mentor’s confidence grow through understanding his personality (through the 16 Personalities test);
  • Seeing her mentee start new voluntary posts;
  • Her mentor passing his theory test and doing really well in his driving lessons.

Hannah’s message for future Starting Point mentors is that it is good to get to know people in real situations, the mentoring is about the mentees, and that mentors shouldn’t expect change to happen straight away, though mentors can change just as much as mentees.

Hannah’s hobbies and interests include hanging out with people and being social, reading books, and watching television programmes, her favourite being the American series Newsroom.

Our Volunteers

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world”

Dr. Seuss

Here at Starting Point our volunteers are our backbone. They are the heroes who listen to young people and support them through the good and bad times. Volunteers happily give up their time to ensure young people have somebody they can rely on and talk to about the difficulties they encounter. They do not ask for a thank you. They do not ask for a reward. They are not selfish and will not turn their backs on young people.

Since Starting Point began in 2012, we have had over 60 volunteers. The majority of our volunteers are local to the Reading area, mentoring local young people across the borough.

So what does volunteering at Starting Point involve?

Mentoring at Starting Point involves meeting up with a young person (a mentee) once a week. This could include anything, such as searching for jobs and writing a CV, to activities aimed at boosting a mentee’s confidence. Even if you just talk about what’s happened during the week, you will be increasing a mentee’s social skills. A lot of mentee find they have nobody to talk to, so you could make a massive difference in their lives.

However, Starting Point doesn’t only offer mentoring. We have volunteers who help with administration, media and design, and photography.

So do you or someone you know have something to offer Starting Point? You don’t need to be Superman or Wonder Woman. You just need to be kind, compassionate, and have the time to get to know a young person and understand the aspects of their lives.

If you can do this and want to learn new skills, then click below to get in touch.
Contact Us

Here’s what our volunteers said about volunteering with Starting Point:

“Volunteering a small amount of time once a week has the potential to change someone’s life.”

“The best thing about volunteering is seeing the mentees I work with grow in confidence.”

“I volunteer with Starting Point because I want to be able to help young people who are less fortunate than myself.”

Written by Calum Harbor
Starting Point Mentee and Community Journalist