Mitchell Swatman has recently concluded his mentoring journey supporting a young person from West Midlands. Mitchell brings an abundance of knowledge from his role as Bank Manager at Lloyds. Here is his account of mentoring with One Million Mentors:

“It has been a great experience to be able to support and give back to the local community. Being able to coach and develop a young individual who in turn has a positive impact on his community, as well as his own prospects, is a great feeling.

The best part for me was seeing the growth in confidence of my mentee over the course of our sessions. Not only externally, but the confidence he had to ask further questions and more specific questions with myself to really get what he wanted was brilliant and a great feeling.

I, myself, have benefited from some excellent mentors both in the workplace and in my personal life. Being a mentee was a great experience, and I learnt a lot about myself and building trusting relationship as well as building confidence in my own ability. The support and development gave me real focus in my career aspirations and personal goals and, if I can have a similar impact with my mentee, then I will achieve my goal.

Mentoring my young person certainly gave me thought to reflect on my priorities and time I give to my development. Having conversations around my mentee’s commitments, and how focused they are on achieving their goals, made me reflect on where my own development is on my priority list. Re-learning to take time for my own development and goals to ensure I keep the motivation and passion on a day to day basis.

In terms of the relationship itself; giving time for trust to build and develop naturally through honest conversations and really setting the purpose of the sessions meant we had a great understanding.

My mentee and I identified an existing network he already had available and how he could approach this network. This opportunity was beneficial to not only my mentee but the local community as well, as it led to him volunteering at a local Care Home.

I supported him through his social action journey by taking time to review my mentee’s existing network and options to support his community. We linked his opportunities to how he wanted to differentiate himself when making applications for jobs. We spent time discussing what kind of experience he wanted and what he wanted to demonstrate and then how he could approach this. Once we realised he already had an opportunity to approach within his existing network, this really took off and he was making a difference and supporting the care home by the next meeting.

This was a great success and really made a difference when we then looked at his CV and applications for jobs. Using what he had learned in the care home environment, from agreeing shifts and being agile to support as well as ensuring following the correct health and safety procedures, really gave him some excellent examples to share during interviews as well as on his CV.

I found the 1MM Training a great refresher, I mentor internally within Lloyds, however, a recap on the training highlighted some best practice, especially around active listening and building trust.

I found the training also gives confirmation and clarify around the support available should you feel any safeguarding issues arise.

I would say to my peers to 100% DO IT!! A great opportunity to really make a difference to a young individual in your own community as well as an experience that will provoke thought and development in yourself.”