If you are a looked-after young person you can find out on this page, what a mentor can do for you and how to get a mentor.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor to a young person in care, you can find out what a mentor does and how to apply to be one.

​If you are a young person and you would like a mentor

It is important to have friends your own age but sometimes it is good to talk to someone who is a bit older, who will not judge you and who may have a different view on life.

A mentor can help you whether you are worried, happy or just feel like having some company. Your mentor can also introduce you to new hobbies and interests you might want to do.

You can talk to them in confidence: they will not tell us or anyone else about what you have told them.

Who can have a mentor?

You can have a mentor if you are a looked-after young person from 14 to 18 years old. It does not matter if you are living with foster carers, in a children’s home or with relatives or friends.

How mentoring works

You will be asked to meet your volunteer mentor for up to two hours a week or fortnight. The meeting can be anything you like.

You could:

  • do an activity you have never tried before
  • get help with homework, a job interview, upcoming school or college test
  • ask his or her advice or
  • just have a chat.

You and your mentor will agree when and where you will meet. It can be away from your home and school, somewhere that you choose.

Ask for a mentor

If you would like a mentor, ask your social worker or phone the Newham Virtual School team on 020 3373 1336 or email

Dos and don'ts of mentoring

  • Respect and listen to each other.
  • Make joint decisions about where to go and what to do.
  • Do not let your mentor down. If you need to change your arrangement to meet, contact him or her to re-arrange the meeting. Do not just fail to turn up.
  • Do not ask for gifts. Your mentor is spending time with you because he or she wants to and not because he or she has to.
  • Do not ask if you can bring a friend: your mentor is there to spend time with you.
Become a mentor

What a mentor does

  • If you become a mentor, you will be matched with a young person and asked to meet them for up to two hours a week or fortnight.
  • You will agree your meeting time and place with the young person.
  • It will be away from your and their home and school. You can just meet to chat, help them with homework or their CV or do activities such as go to the cinema or eat out.

Who you will mentor

You will mentor a young person between the ages of 14 and 18 who is looked after by us. They might be living with foster carers, in a residential unit, or with relatives or friends.

Apply to become a mentor

If you would like to become a mentor or you would like more information about becoming a mentor, you should phone Newham Virtual School team on 020 3373 1336 and ask for the mentoring co-ordinator or you can email


Last updated: 18/07/2019

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