Guest blog: Jane Bridgman-Smith (Mentor and Kids Inspire Ambassador) and Chloe (Mentee)
“During lockdown, Jane has been phoning me to check how I’m doing, we have been talking about any worries or concerns that I have.” – Chloe
I have just come off my regular check-in call with Chloe to see how she has been. Before lockdown, she and I had been working towards an ending because after nearly three years she has made me redundant.
She has grown so much from the shy timid girl I first met to a confident young person. During lockdown, we check in fortnightly, but as her mentor, I am available more if she needs it, because it is so important that she does have someone else to reach out to for support if needed.
I asked Chloe how important it is that a mentor keeps connected with their mentee at this time. She responded that:
“It is really important as they may feel that they don’t have anyone else to talk to and might feel more closed off and unable to express how they feel about the current situation.”
Chloe added that the “Kids Inspire mentoring scheme has been important to her, as it has helped her grow in confidence and have more of a positive mindset. ”
Having a mentor means especially during this time that she has ongoing support if she needs it. I asked her what she would say to other mentees at this time who might be experiencing anxiety. She said:
“To reassure them that it’s going to be alright, that we are stronger together and if they are needing to talk about how they feel and cannot talk to their parents, their mentor is there to provide that support to them. “