Volunteering as a professional mentor, either as an individual or alongside your colleagues, offers you the opportunity to support young people at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) whilst learning about the barriers to social mobility they encounter.
Our twelve-week Mentoring Programme is currently delivered in Birmingham, Leeds, and London.
Additional opportunities, including Career Lounges, online Work Experience, webinars and blog posts, are available to young people and volunteer mentors across the UK and Channel Islands.
Register below to learn more about our opportunities and to express your interest in volunteering.
“We were buzzing from the first time we went there to the last time, it is something that really does motivate you, you can understand that it’s not just a work environment that you can succeed in, you can contribute outside into the society and make a difference. That’s something that’s really motivating.”
To volunteer as a professional mentor for the Mentoring Programme, you must:
Our Birmingham, Leeds and London Mentoring Programmes are delivered in Autumn (October–February) and Spring (March–July). The programme consists of twelve group sessions, delivered primarily in secondary schools, further education settings, and alternative provisions. Sessions last around an hour and are delivered on the same day and time each week. Mentors come from a range of professional backgrounds such as the technology, finance and education sectors.
During the twelve-week Mentoring Programme, young people have the opportunity to apply for further support for their youth-led social action project through our Social Action Accelerator Pilot. Staff and volunteer mentors provide ongoing advice and guidance, as well as resources to support the implementation of the project, such as space and equipment.
We also provide further careers skills development opportunities for young people across the UK. Our Career Lounge and Online Work Experience projects are delivered in collaboration with our volunteering partners, including Salesforce Foundation, PwC, KPMG and WeWork. They provide young people with insight into the world of work and specific employment sectors and organisations, improve knowledge of routes into further and Higher Education and employment, and further support the development of careers skills.
The UK is struggling with social mobility and equality of opportunity. Recent research from the Office for National Statistics states:
• There are an estimated 794,000 young people aged 16-24 and NEET in the UK.
• 11.6 per cent of young people aged 16-24 in the UK are NEET.
Moreover, over the past three years, children and young people have experienced significant disruption to their education, whilst opportunities to improve social mobility have dwindled. Disadvantaged young people have been most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside the cost-of-living crisis.
• For example, during the Covid-19 lockdown, young people eligible for Pupil Premium (PP) reported lower psychological wellbeing that their peers (Impact Ed. 2020).
• Research from The Sutton Trust indicates that 84% of teachers think that lockdown and associated disruptions will increase the attainment gap in their school (Sutton Trust. 2022).
• Moreover, 61% of employers cancelled work experience placements in 2020 (Sutton Trust. 2020). - Research from Beetfreeks reveals that nearly half (46%) of young people said that the pandemic has left them with fewer opportunities for work (Beetfreaks. 2020).
The Mentoring Programme approach prepares young people for their personal and professional futures by instilling active citizenship, and nurturing character, resilience and determination.
For young people, the concept is simple, but the impact can be life changing! If you meet our eligibility criteria, all we ask of you is to commit an hour of your time for twelve weeks. Our Coordinators, Facilitators and Volunteer Mentors will be with you every step of the way to guide you through your sessions. Throughout, you will learn new skills, participate in youth led social action and gain insight into the working world through fun and engaging interactive sessions.
The Mentoring Programme is available in:
We also have alternative opportunities for mentors who don’t live or work in these regions. Our wider services include Career Lounges, online webinars and workshops, and blog posts.
The Mentoring Programme is free to schools and students thanks to the generosity of our corporate and trust funders.
We are always looking for more funders to ensure that we can continue to provide our programme to disadvantaged young people. If you would like to fund the Mentoring Programme, please email us email@example.com.
The Diana Award is the charity legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales’ belief that young people have the power to change the world. We have 20 years’ experience running bespoke youth programmes for children and young people aged 9 – 25 and are proud to have supported over 800,000 young people to date through our interventions.
Our vision is one in which young people are empowered to change the world. We exist to empower young people to make positive change by unlocking potential, creating opportunities, and inspiring action.
We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our Mentoring Partners.