Muzzy began volunteering with us in 2021. In his last mentoring relationship, Muzzy supported his mentee, Hakim, with a tonne of different things. to improve his English, join boxing and football groups, enrol in college, and apply for a grant from our Grants & Advocacy Programme.
You can read Hakim and Muzzy’s inspiring mentor story here.
What do you do for work?
I am an operations manager at a large engineering company – I look after a portfolio of railway and other infrastructure improvement projects.
What do you get up to when you’re not working or volunteering?
I am a huge boxing fan! I obviously follow the sport closely but also spend some of my free time at the gym. I also try to spend my free time with people I love and sharpening my cooking skills.
What motivated you to become a volunteer mentor at Hope for the Young?
I’m a big believer in the power of effective mentoring and the mission of Hope for the Young resonated with me. Young refugees and asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable in society as they have faced hardships, trauma and in many cases rejection.
Being there to support them navigate through the complexities of life, access critical support and broadening their horizons on what they can achieve is something I am passionate about.
What’s your favourite memory from mentoring?
There have been a few highs which will stick with me – from managing to admit my Mentee into college, assisting my Mentee as he got his status and taking my Mentee to a series of boxing classes which he absolutely loved and massively grew his confidence.
What’s the best thing about mentoring a young person seeking asylum?
They are normally hidden gems in the sense that they are talented and highly motivated, therefore once you scratch the surface and start giving them some direction and support, they will thrive. Additionally, they are very resilient due to the adversity they faced in their life – this inspires me and helps me focus on what’s important in life.
What have you learned from volunteering as a mentor to a young person seeking asylum?
I learnt that compassion and empathy are probably the most important qualities you need to have as a human and this applies to all aspects in life. I also learnt that the work done by HFTY and other refugee support charities is critical to these young people. Finally, I learnt how to cook some delicious Afghani dishes!
What tips would you give to other volunteer mentors?
Get out of your comfort zone and keep trying different approaches to engaging with your mentee.
Also it is important to focus on making incremental improvements – even a slight improvement week on week is a huge change over a year.
As well as mentoring with us, Muzzy also braved a Tough Mudder event in aid of Hope for the Young.
Muzzy ran, climbed, crawled and swung his way through a gruelling 10km assault course, all to raise funds for our programmes.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Muzzy for being such a great mentor to Hakim and for taking on an epic fundraising challenge to help us support more young people to rebuild their lives!
If you’d like to become a volunteer mentor like Muzzy, click the button below to find out more and apply!