We are recruiting mentors to help support our current and future ‘apprentices’ in the Open The Gate programme.
What is a mentor?
Fine Cell Work mentors support the progress of prison leavers- who we call ‘apprentices’- engaging in our community programme, Open the Gate (OTG). Mentoring is a crucial part of the OTG package; it enhances the apprentice’s experiences by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to identify and reach their goals. Our hope is for every apprentice to leave OTG with an opportunity somewhere in the community, be it employment, training, education or volunteering.
One of the key responsibilities of a Fine Cell Work mentor is to provide practical advice and encouragement to the apprentices. Mentors utilize their expertise, knowledge, and experiences to offer direction and guidance, helping apprentices source future opportunities within the community. By sharing their wisdom, mentors empower apprentices to make informed decisions and take proactive steps towards their desired goals.
While mentors play a transformative role in the lives of apprentices, they also experience numerous personal benefits. Mentoring allows individuals to contribute to the rehabilitation and second-chance initiatives, aligning with Fine Cell Work's mission. Mentors develop their communication and interpersonal skills, further enhancing their ability to connect with others.
Furthermore, mentors gain a sense of fulfillment by witnessing the positive changes in their apprentices' lives. The joy of seeing an apprentice seize opportunities and overcome challenges reinforces the mentors' commitment and belief in the transformative power of their work. Mentors also have access to ongoing training and support, ensuring they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their role.
Please see below the Role Description
If you would like to register your interest in becoming a mentor please fill in this short application form.
- To provide apprentices with practical advice and encouragement.
- To support apprentices to identify future opportunities in line with their interests, skillsets and goals.
- To build effective working relationships with an Apprentice and OTG staff.
Mentors are matched with an Apprentice based on their need, skills and interests.
- Providing apprentices with practical advice and encouragement to source future opportunities in the community.
- Utilise your expertise, knowledge and experiences to provide direction.
- Cultivate a positive one-to-one relationship with an Apprentice.
- Support and encourage apprentices with taking responsibility.
- Liaise with OTG staff in order to support the Apprentice by discussing barriers and challenges involved in community reintegration.
- Generate action plans for the Apprentice.
- Follow and respond to FCW safeguarding policies and procedures.
Admin and information-gathering
- Regularly communicating with OTG staff to arrange each mentoring session.
- Gather and provide written logs for each mentoring session, detailing your discussions and actions to be shared with the OTG staff.
- Participate in FCW mentoring training and Safeguarding training.
- Participate in quarterly mentoring forums.
SKILLS, QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE NEEDED
No specific qualifications or experience is required for this role. Our apprentices come from a wide range of backgrounds and we want to reflect this in our mentors.
- A friendly, non-judgmental individual who believes in rehabilitation and is committed to giving people a second-chance.
- A good communicator.
- Reliable, patient and flexible with your approach.
- Ability to keep accurate written or typed notes of each mentoring session.
- Ability to observe boundaries and act within a professional capacity.
- Experience of working with vulnerable and socially excluded groups.
All mentors will be expected to attend relevant mentoring and safeguarding training. You will also be invited to quarterly forums thereafter.
Apprentices attend FCW’s Hub from Monday- Thursday; their day is determined by FCW staff and are subject to change. We ask that you can be flexible with arranging your mentoring sessions in line with an Apprentice’s attendance.
Sessions can last up to an hour. Mentors are encouraged to arrange their sessions on a fortnightly basis.
The length of your relationship with an Apprentice varies depending on who you are working with.
WHAT WE OFFER
- Support from the FCW’s Volunteer and Programmes Manager and assistance from the Engagement and Support Officer.
- Paid expenses for activities related to volunteering with fine cell work, including travel.
- 15% discount on our products.
- Full training session on Mentoring and Safeguarding (and any other relevant training if required).
- An opportunity to utilise your Employee Volunteering days (if applicable) in a meaningful way.
- An opportunity to attend our amazing events and be an ambassador for Fine Cell Work.
Mentoring takes place at FCW’s Hub in Battersea, South London. We will consider remote mentoring if you are unable to travel.
All our volunteers must be over 18. Volunteers will be required to undertake a Basic DBS check. Volunteers are also covered by our public liability insurance.
At Fine Cell Work, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where all belong. We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in FCW’s workforce.
These include applicants from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ community as these are currently under-represented in our volunteers groups. We strongly encourage application from people with lived experience.
FCW will not discriminate unfairly against any volunteer applicant on the basis of a criminal record.