Louise Walsh works as a Communications Officer for Glasgow Life. After reading about MCR Pathways, and with support from her employer, Louise was keen to volunteer and be part of a support network for a young person who doesn’t have positive influences like she did growing up. She hasn’t looked back since.
“I wanted to play my part in supporting a young person and making them feel valuable and understood.”
What was it like getting ready to be a mentor?
It was exciting! The training with MCR was very helpful and it made me realise that there really is no “wrong” way to mentor. You’re there to help in whatever way your mentee needs at that point in time – and that differs from person to person.
What changes have you seen in the young person you mentor?
“At first, I did all the talking, then slowly but surely, she opened up more and more. Now we chat from the minute we sit down right up until the bell rings! At first she was worried she didn’t know what she wanted to do after leaving school. We talked a lot about what she liked and didn’t in school.”
“Now she’s in the process of applying for university! It’s a far cry from where we were 2 years ago. Her confidence has grown, it’s been amazing to see.”
What have you gained from mentoring?
She makes me laugh and has encouraged me to think of things from a different perspective. We’re all guilty of forgetting how it feels to be a teenager, and being a teen in the modern world is certainly a lot harder than it ever was for me. I always listen with an open mind and I’ve learned so much from my mentee.
What do you most enjoy about mentoring?
It’s an hour of the week where you can have one focus. It gives me an opportunity to realise that, in the grand scheme of things, my day-to-day worries aren’t actually that important. I always go back to work feeling calmer than I left and I think that’s one of the reasons I look forward to seeing my mentee so much. Being there for her has also helped me focus on my own well-being.
Any advice you’d give to someone thinking about mentoring?
Do it. You absolutely will not regret it. Your mentee might not have had the easiest start in life but every single person deserves a helping hand and someone to listen – and you can be the one to do just that.