Barnardo’s early help mentoring and befriending service

Teenage girl being mentored by adult woman

How you can help support young people in Birmingham to improve their wellbeing and achieve their goals.

A unique opportunity to help shape a young person’s future

The new service - funded by Birmingham Children’s Trust - is a unique partnership between Barnardo’s, Birmingham City University (BCU) and Our Place Support. The team will work to connect local professionals with the opportunity to provide short term pre-crisis interventions for young people.

If you are passionate in positively engaging with children and young people - a Volunteer Mentor role could be for you.

You could offer a range of invaluable advice and guidance that could:

  • Boost confidence
  • Explore careers advice
  • Provide coping strategies for developing and understanding emotions
  • Support with developing life skills
  • Provide sporting, musical, art or creative activities

The programme also offers you as a Volunteer Mentor a unique voluntary Career Professional Development (CPD) opportunity designed to give back to local communities - whilst also making a real difference to a young person's life.

What will be required of a Volunteer Mentor?

As a Mentor, you will meet with your Mentee in their school or college once a week for a 45-minute mentoring session over a minimum of six-weeks to a maximum of 12-weeks. Once you have completed your Mentorship, you are welcome to continue as a Mentor and be matched with a new Mentee if you choose.

Mentoring sessions will be scheduled around your existing commitments, and you will be supported by a Professional Mentor during your time with the service. You will also have travel expenses covered by Barnardo’s during your time as a Mentor.

The skills needed to be a Volunteer Mentor include:

  • Reliability, punctuality, and trustworthiness
  • An approachable and welcoming demeanour
  • Passion about making a difference in the lives of young people
  • The ability to empathise with young people who are facing difficult times in their lives
  • Awareness of factors impacting on and issues facing young people such as disadvantage, poverty, disabilities, and health conditions including mental health

The benefits of becoming a Volunteer Mentor include:

  • Develop your soft skills including communication, emotional intelligence and active listening
  • Opportunity to give back to local schools, communities and families
  • Practical experience with real cases
  • Access to Barnardo’s full online training platform
  • Network with other volunteers and professional staff
  • Make a difference in a young person’s life
  • Receive a certificate of completion

How do I become a Volunteer Mentor?

To become a volunteer mentor, you will need to complete a pre-screening form to check you meet the requirements of the role.

Once the pre-screening has been completed and you are successful, you will then be added to the waiting list. When you have reached the top of the list, you will be invited to complete a full application form on the Barnardo’s website. From here you will complete a series of training.

To request your pre-screening form, please fill out the expression of interest form, you can also submit any questions you may have about the programme in the same form.

This could be a great opportunity for you to gain key experience and skills in your career by sharing your best qualities.


Please note, it is required that you can provide two-character references from people who have known you for at least two years, and Barnardo’s will support you to obtain a DBS check.

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