How A Mentor Could Have Helped Me

One of our care leavers describes how a mentor could have made a difference 

“I moved into my own flat when I was 18 years old, I had some support from my foster carers but they had other foster children, so I didn’t receive as much from them as I would have liked.

My Personal Adviser (PA) at the time also helped me when he could but due to high caseloads he was unable to meet with me as often as I needed for such a stressful time in my life. A mentor could have helped me by being there on moving day to help me unload my belongings and move them in. A mentor could have also helped me by offering support with DIY around the flat after I had moved in. 

After living in my flat for a while my old PA left to start a new job and I was left without a PA for a long period of time. I found being left without a PA very stressful as I didn’t know who to contact or to go to for help with paying new bills or what would happen if something went wrong with the flat. I felt very fearful and like I had been abandoned to deal with all of the pressures of living alone at such a young age.

A mentor would have been a great help at that point in my life. A mentor could have sat down and explained how to pay different types of bills or shown me how change a light bulb.

Most importantly, a mentor could have been someone to talk to in a time of need to be a supportive role for me, someone to lean on. Having a mentor would have reassured me that everything was going to be ok and that there was someone to help me if something went wrong in my flat and could have worked as my temporary safety blanket till I had been given a new PA.”  

Care Leaver aged 20