Jay began volunteering as a mentor in 2021. With their last mentee, Jay worked on finding different social events and support groups that fit their mentee's needs.
What do you do for work?
I work for a small charity doing all kinds of administration work.
What do you get up to when you’re not working or volunteering?
I have a pretty hectic life! I work full-time, I study part-time, and of course, I’m trying to stay fit by getting along to the gym a couple of times a week. When I have time to sit down, I love reading sci-fi and fantasy novels.
What motivated you to become a volunteer mentor at Hope for the Young?
I lived abroad for around 6 years in countries with sort of patchy human rights and spent a lot of time adjusting to new places and trying to make friends. It was important to me when I got back that I try to help people trying to flee the persecution I saw first-hand to feel as much at home as possible.
What’s your favourite memory from mentoring?
My favourite day out was attending London Pride. For some asylum seekers, it is the first time they have ever seen people celebrating their LGBTQIA+ identity in public without fear of prison, torture or death penalty and it is amazing to see such wonder and joy.
What have you learned from volunteering as a mentor to a young person seeking asylum?
My mentee couldn’t read English, which made me realise that navigating London Transport is incredibly complicated, despite the colour coding! You basically have to have a map of the entire city in your head so you know whether your destination is north, south, east or west from where you currently are, and if there are multiple lines stopping at the same platform, the only way to know you’re getting on the correct train is to know what the final destination of each line is. That is, frankly, ridiculous
What tips would you give to other volunteer mentors?
I saw a free community event advertised which mentioned translation under access needs, so I got in touch and they provided us with a free translator. This meant we could both take part in the activities and made a huge difference.
So, my tip is that it’s always worth asking!
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Jay for volunteering as a mentor and dedicating their time to supporting a young person to rebuild their life.
If you’d like to become a volunteer mentor, click the button below to find out more and apply!