UK Goes Big for National Mentoring Day

Lords, MPs, celebrities, businesses, and individuals across all sectors of the UK celebrated in an overwhelming response to this year’s National Mentoring Day (27th October.) The initiative aims to make mentoring accessible to any adult, child, business, or group that needs
it, regardless of age, background, or ethnicity and has Lord Young as the Patron.

Support came in far and wide from UK Government, MPs, NHS, BBC, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, British Army, Princes Trust, Google, FSB, IOD, Stephen Kelly (TechNation), Dame Kelly Hoppen, Lord Hastings CBE, Sherry Coutu CBE, LBC, philosopher Professor Dr Ervin Laszlo alongside hundreds of charities and organisations who joined in. Founded by Chelsey Baker, a prominent business mentor to educate, connect, inspire and support all forms of mentoring. Chelsey says, “As a nation we urgently need to embrace mentoring for all and support those being left behind during the pandemic. Everyone has life skills and experience to share as a mentor. One word, one hour can be all that’s needed to effect a positive change in someone.”

“Mentoring is transformational, if everyone became a mentor in whatever way they could, businesses and society would be transformed. This invaluable source of guidance and support is needed now more than ever. Mentoring just one person can impact a whole family and community; those who’ve been mentored often go onto mentor someone else.”

Praise poured in from all over the UK on the hashtag #nationalmentoringday thanking mentors for making a difference. This year saw a huge increase in organisations giving back by launching mentoring initiatives.

Google in partnership with Digital Boost, committed to providing 10,000 hours of free mentoring to small business owners and charities in the UK. Ronan Harris, Managing Director, Google UK, comments: “Local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. Like millions up and down the country, we want to help small businesses both survive and thrive. That’s why in partnership with Digital Boost, we’ve committed to providing 10,000 hours of free mentoring for small business owners, charities and individuals to help people upskill and adapt to operating in the ever-changing current climate. Despite the ongoing uncertainty, we want to show that having an online presence can have a transformative impact on offline businesses”.

On the day, Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee teamed up with Ronel Lehmann to launch #LegUp asking those in employment to help just one person into work. “We’re asking the Country to become mentors to help assist those who need it most.” said Ronel Lehmann, CEO, Finito, The Employability Experts.

Over 100 MP’s and Peers pledged to ‘Give an Hour’ of their time to mentor a young person through The Diana Award charity with their ‘One Hour, One Young Person, One Parliamentarian’ campaign’. Trudy Harrison MP for Copeland took part in a virtual one-hour mentoring session with politics student, Emily Tidey. Emily said: “The opportunity to receive mentoring from an MP for National Mentoring Day is incredible. It can be so difficult to get first-hand experience and insight into politics, I’m incredibly grateful.”

Dr Lisa Cameron MP highlighted the campaign in the House of Commons and says “As chair of the APPG for Mentoring I’m delighted to be supporting National Mentoring Day. Mentoring plays a vital role in the lives of our young people, particularly those who are vulnerable. As a Parliamentarian, I believe it’s important we lead by example and provide mentoring opportunities across the UK, accessible to all.”
A virtual National Mentoring Day celebration event was held in partnership with the Diana Award featuring Lord Dr Michael Hastings, (Chancellor Regents University) Tessy Ojo CBE (CEO Diana Award) David Shapiro (CEO The National Mentoring Partnership), Chelsey Baker (CEO National Mentoring Day) Charlotte Kirby (VP Global Strategic Relations, Salesforce) and Chizzy Akudolu (Holby City/Strictly Come Dancing).

Tessy Ojo CBE, CEO of The Diana Award says: “We are delighted with the overwhelming response from MP’s to support youth mentoring. We know that mentoring can be life-changing for a young person and enhances their future prospects. For a young person without a positive role model in their life, a mentor can be the voice that says ‘you can do it and this is how’ – words they may have never heard before.”

NatWest partnered with Be the Business to launch a free mentoring service in response to findings that show female business owners are at a disadvantage. Alison Rose, chief executive of NatWest said, “Women are less likely than men to know other entrepreneurs or to have access to sponsors, mentors, or professional supporter networks. For female entrepreneurs, and the UK economy to truly prosper, this balance must be reset.”

West Ham United Foundation launched their new ‘Training Ground’ Mentoring programme to encourage career and personal development for young people in East London.

Requests for mentoring for the suffering hospitality industry flooded in. The Institute of Hospitality offered their MentorMe scheme. Francisco Macedo, (GM of Cliveden House) supported with a plea “As industry professionals we have a duty of giving back by mentoring.” The Craft Guild of Chefs launched their new UK wide mentoring scheme on the day. Michelin-starred chef Chris Galvin, pleaded with chefs to sign up to mentor. Chef Paul Askew tweeted “It’s great there’s a day celebrating this priceless part of developing the next generation.”

The Institute of Directors joined in by recognising the work being done by all their volunteer mentors to help small businesses with a call for more members to sign up to the scheme.

Chelsey Baker closes by saying “These incredible initiatives that were launched on National Mentoring Day will have a lasting effect and make a huge difference to peoples’ lives and to wider society. This is a significant boost for development in the UK and towards helping us reach our goal of making mentoring accessible to everyone. Mentoring means ‘making a difference’ and this is exactly what National Mentoring Day is all about.”

“We want this initiative to carry on throughout the year as we all need help in this world. Mentoring gives a sense of purpose to both parties, it’s not only good for business but also good for the soul!”

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