Friday, 29 May 2015

Mentoring with Catch22

Today I am blogging about why I became a Mentor with Catch22.

When I initially applied to volunteer with Catch22 as an Appropriate Adult at the beginning of 2013, I was under the illusion that this was the only service they offered. I had found out about the charity through my local Police Station when inquiring about the role of Appropriate Adults. However during an information evening in 2013, I discovered that there was much more to Catch22 as a charity. 

Catch22 specialises in assisting young adults to secure training, education, apprenticeships and employability. The charity also offers support to young people and troubled families. Usually these clients are referred to Catch22 by local authorities. The charity also offers support to care leavers. In addition to these services Catch22 supports youths and adult offenders. In larger towns and cities members of Catch22 work on projects to reduce gang crime. Catch22's "goal is to deliver social benefit by turning chaotic lives around." You can find out more about Catch22's projects on their website.

After attending an information evening for prospective volunteers I decided that I would be interested in volunteering as a Mentor. I was informed that the role only required a couple of hours a week commitment. Time commitment was important as my schedule was already limited between studying a two year intensive law degree, three children and other volunteering commitments. 

I thought that mentoring would be a good opportunity for increasing the diverse range of people I interacted with. Mentoring would also help me to continue to develop my interpersonal skills. I also believed that mentoring would be rewarding, giving back to the local community. This was particularly important to me after being mentored during my first year at The University of Northampton, by a member of Shoosmiths. Two years later and I still believe that my Mentor was responsible for shaping my career path!

Mentoring with Catch22 has provided me with a wide variety of transferable skills. For example it improved my self-confidence, teamwork skills, self-awareness, active communication skills and social awareness. The level of training that Catch22 offer their staff and volunteers is outstanding. I have found it invaluable, aiding me in both my volunteering roles and my accademic studies. I would also like to think that it aided Mentees in making important life changing decisions.

Watch this space for further blogs on my role as a Mentor.

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