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Volunteer as a Proud Mentor

Proud Mentors are key support for LGBT+ young people accessing The Proud Trust. Following a full training programme, proud mentors are paired with young people for ongoing regular one-to-one support. Creating a supportive and open space for young people to talk about a variety of things, from exploring their identity, their relationship with family or friends or access to education and employment, the session and discussions are led by the young person.

Length and frequency of the session will be dependent on the young person but should be no more than 30-45 mins on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

Applications to become a Proud Mentor are open throughout the year, and all applications must attend an informal interview prior to starting the training, which happens three times a year.

Key dates for 2022 are as follows:

Informal interviews: These will all take place remotely via video call:

  • Wednesday 2 February, from 6 – 8pm
  • Wednesday 25 May, from 6 – 8pm
  • Wednesday 28 September 2022, from 6 – 8pm

Training dates: In person training dates will take place in central Manchester at the LGBT+ Centre, 49-51 Sidney St, Manchester, M1 7HB and digital training will take place remotely via Zoom.

  • February: Saturday 12 February & Saturday 19 February 2022 (10am – 3pm) – IN PERSON training
  • June: Wednesday 1 June, Wednesday 8 June, Wednesday 15 June & Wednesday 22 June 2022 (6-8pm) – DIGITAL training
  • October:  Saturday 1 October & Saturday 8 October 2022 (10am – 3pm) – IN PERSON training

For more information about what’s involved please see our FAQs listed below or email us at proudmentors@theproudtrust.org

If you are interested in applying to be a Proud Mentor, please complete this form

The main responsibilities of a Proud Mentor are:

  • Regular interactions with young person (approx. 30-45 min at a time)
  • Creating an agreement with the young person to determine what will be covered in the session
  • Actively listening to the young person allowing them time and space to speak openly
  • Providing non-judgmental and non-directive support whilst providing clear, factual and realistic information and guidance
  • Encouraging the young person to think about their future in a positive and proactive way, setting goals together and regularly checking in on progress
  • Maintaining confidentiality and following The Proud Trusts’ Safeguarding and GDPR policies at all times
  • Recording all interactions and flagging any concerns in a timely manner

For more information on specific responsibilities, please contact proudmentors@theproudtrust.org for a full role description.

No, the Proud Mentor programme is open to mentors and young people from across the UK! You are welcome to apply for any  of the training dates, although please note that attendance will be required for all of the sessions – so if you are from outside Greater Manchester, please consider your travel and accommodation plans before signing up for the in person training, there will always be at least one digital training session per year which you may prefer to register for.

The Proud Mentors programme is only open to volunteers within the UK. We welcome the support from people outside the UK and would encourage you to explore our website to see what other ways you can support and promote the work we do: https://www.theproudtrust.org/support-us/

The process will go as follows:

  • Submission of expression of interest: open applications, please specific which training date(s) you are interested in attending.
  • Informal Interviews: Held online during the dates/times advertised in the lead up to training dates
  • Training Dates: Taking place three times per year during the advertised dates

Once you have completed the training, you will be ready to be paired with young people, but there is no time limit on this as it will depend on the number of young people we have interested in the mentor programme which can change throughout the year.

Due to the nature of the work and the importance of consistency for young people, we ask that Mentors commit to the programme for a minimum of one year. During that time, you may be paired with more than one young person, depending on the length of each pairing. However, mentors will only be paired with one young person at a time. The number of support sessions will be dependent on the needs of the young person but is likely to be a minimum of 6 meetings. You will be supported by The Proud Trust throughout the process, especially when the mentoring comes to an end and the possible re-pairing in the future.

Mentoring pairings are encouraged to last as long as is beneficial for the young person. At the start, you will be encouraged to discuss possible outcomes for the young person and set regular review dates to assess the ongoing need for the meetings. You will be guided throughout the process to acknowledge when support is no longer needed, or that alternative support would be more beneficial for the young person. If it is decided that the mentoring should come to an end, you will be supported through the process of ending the sessions, which will include thoughts, reflection and, where necessary, referral for ongoing or alternative support for the young person. We will then be able to start the pairing process again to link you with another young person.

There may be times where mentoring needs to end suddenly due to unexpected circumstances, from the young person or the mentors themselves. We would support both the young person and mentor throughout this process as much as possible and come up with safe and appropriate ways forward.

During the application process you will be asked to provide some personal information which will include:

  • Proof of identity
  • Details for 2 references (one from your current or previous employment or voluntary role and one character reference).
  • Any and all information needed to process a DBS certificate (we may be able to accept a current DBS from another organisation, please let us know if you have a current DBS and we can discuss this further).

Please note that disclosure of a conviction does not automatically debar someone from consideration.  The conviction will be taken into account if it is considered to be one that would make someone unsuitable for this type of work.  The kind of offences that would bar someone from being approved for mentoring include those against children and other vulnerable groups, serious drug-related offences and offences involving violence.  Offences involving theft, deception, fraud, etc. may also disbar someone depending on the nature of the offence.  The length of time since the conviction will also be taken into account.

Once you have completed the Proud Mentors training you will be ready to be paired with a young person. This will be done by staff at The Proud Trust and will be based on the information you have provided throughout the application process.

We aim to pair Proud Mentors and young people based on a variety of things, such as:

  • Shared Interest
  • Shared experiences
  • Potential for knowledge sharing
  • Shared characteristics (e.g. faith, gender identity, race and disability)
  • The young person’s preferences

Mentor interaction can run either remotely via video call or in-person at the LGBT+ Centre. This can be decided between the mentor and the mentee depending on geography and availability. Any in-person work will be fully risk assessed, and have health and safety precautions in place.

If you are delivering a session online, you will need good WiFi/data connectivity, good hardware (ideally a computer with good audio and video), and a confidential space from which to call. If any of these are issues, please let us know as part of your expression of interest so that we can discuss further.

Any adult, over the age of 18 who identifies as LGBT+ who is able to offer regular one-to-one support to an LGBT+ young person. You must be willing to be open and actively listen and support young people, using the training provided to create a supportive and non-judgement space for young people to be open with you.

LGBT+ covers all identities that come under the umbrella of ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Plus’ including, but not limited to, people who are queer, questioning (their sexuality or gender), asexual, aromantic, pansexual, intersex, and non-binary.

While we appreciate the support and experience of Allies (people who do not identify as LGBT+ but proactively support LGBT+ rights and their LGBT+ peers), young people have told us that they will benefit more from talking to someone they know has lived experiences of being LGBT+.  Allies are welcome (and encouraged) to support The Proud Trust and the young people we work with in other ways, for more information please visit our website: www.theproudtrust.org/support-us

You will be expected to attend the various stages of the application and training process (informal interview and all four training sessions) before being put forward for pairing with a young person.

Once you have completed training, your time commitment will mainly be the regular meetings with your young person, which will include completing a short form at the end of each interaction. We will also arrange quarterly catch up sessions with all the Proud Mentors to encourage relationship building as well as the sharing of best practices.

You will also be able to arrange catch up sessions with the Proud Mentors lead at The Proud Trust to discuss any concerns you have during the process.

If you are interested, please complete the Expression of Interest form

Or contact proudmentors@theproudtrust.org


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