Mentoring programme delivering results for community group leaders

5th December 2022

A mentoring programme launched to provide expertise to community groups has returned positive reviews with participants reaping the rewards in receiving help from a business leader on a short-term basis.

Launched in February 2022, South Yorkshire Charity Mentors (SYCM) has seen eighteen professionals across the business and voluntary sector come onboard to offer their services to a community group, with fourteen mentees signing up to be matched with a suitable mentor. 

One of these mentoring relationships saw Chris Hallam, Chief Executive Officer at High Green Development Trust matched with Faye Mellors, Chief Executive, at The Suit Works in Sheffield. 

Chris has helped Faye in her role as the CEO of The Suit Works, saying: “The whole process of mentoring is hugely rewarding, and at the Suit Works it is doubly so. 

“We found an area where Faye felt I could help and a lot of the time was used giving her the head room to think things through clearly.”

Faye said: “I’ve really benefitted from having a mentor in Chris to have a conversation with and work through challenging scenarios. It’s reassuring to know there’s someone on the other end of the phone to chat to about ideas or discussing solutions.”

Martin Singer, SYCM Executive Coordinator, said: “Since the launch of South Yorkshire Charity Mentors, I have had many conversations with voluntary sector leaders about the diverse range of challenges that they are facing. 

“Our volunteer mentors are experienced leaders and are keen to support them. When a match is made it is always great to hear of the positive difference that is being made and of the often mutual benefits being felt by both the mentor and the mentee.”

Potential mentees have been registering their interest on the SYCM website to request a suitable match with a mentor. The mentoring relationship has begun after an introduction was facilitated by the SYCM Executive Coordinator.

The programme was devised by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation after listening to community organisations in their Community Sector Resilience Survey in 2020, which showed a decrease in personnel support as volunteers or staff left. 

Ruth Willis, SYCF Chief Executive, said: “It has been rewarding to read the comments from these mentoring relationships and reaffirms how important it was to listen to community groups on what they needed, i.e. free mentoring advice, and provide them with this service.”

To register an interest to become a mentor or mentee, people can do so via SYCM’s website at: https://www.sycf.org.uk/sycm-home/ or through the LinkedIn page, which recently reached 100 followers. 

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