National Mentoring Day was launched to recognise the significant benefits of mentoring across the World. We are proud to say that our mentoring scheme has been running for just over ten years and has a significant impact on the wellbeing of our young people. 

Chickenshed's mentoring scheme for students has been running for just over ten years now. As our education courses became increasingly diverse, it was obvious that our students needed to have access to a group of mentors who could support them both in and out of their sessions. The mentoring scheme started with just three staff members and has now grown to nine full-time mentors, with the intention of growing even further.

A lot of barriers to formal education come from external issues, such as coming from a lower socio-economic background or having a perceived disability. Our mentors provide advice and support so that individuals can continue to excel in life and education. Building on the success of the staff-to-students mentoring scheme, we have now started a peer mentoring scheme where older students help those who are younger. This all came from a student feedback session, where students wanted to see if they could give each other more formalised support in order to empower their peers and share their own journey with others.

Being mentored at Chickenshed has helped me a lot, not just on the course but in my personal life too. Just knowing that I could speak to anyone at any time in the day made it easier to approach somebody and ask to talk. It made me feel like I was worth something, like there were people around me who cared about my feelings and well-being. I knew that I would want to give back to Chickenshed in any way that I could and being made a student mentor has given me that chance, not only to expand my own skills and knowledge but to give others the support they need. - Student Mentor