Ending loneliness through mentoring

18 10 2013

Sobering stats about loneliness hit the headlines today; according to the Campaign to End Loneliness there are 800,000 people in England who are chronically lonely, many of them elderly.

So we would like to take this moment to shout about horsesmouth. Our mentoring community has thousands of older (and elderly) mentors sharing their experiences, on everything from how to deal with retirement, volunteering ideas, bereavement, and the secrets to sucess in business and family life.

From retirees to grandparents, volunteers to the recently widowed; all are sharing their life experience to help others and maybe learn something themselves.

Here are just a few of our older mentors on why they wanted to mentor on horsesmouth and what they get out of it.

BigPete, aged 67. ‘When I was a young sales rep, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of wise old heads off whom I could bounce all my problems and frustrations.  I think that this type of mentoring fills a gap which has been left as society has become more self-centred over the years, which is why I believe horsesmouth can offer an invaluable service.’

Graham77 is one of our older mentors, ‘This is a fantastic idea for lots of people. Some are unable to get out and about or are to shy to ask friends or relatives for help. One reason the Samaritans is successful is because people are afraid to ask their friends or partners for help as they may be told things like, ‘Thats nothing to worry about, you’ll be ok in the morning.’ This site will be ideal for them to get assistance with anonymity. I feel I have something to offer and also much more to learn.’

Mentor Bezzer is a 66yr old retired nurse and grandmother. ‘My life is full of activities with my children and my community.
I believe people get more out of life by giving and so although today I have sent out a request for help for myself, I also know that if I give I will receive.’

Mentor Merlinoz is offering a, ‘lifetime of work and relationship experience. Approaching that time in life where I’m looking back and thinking what else I could have done to help others. This helps both sides get something from mentoring…payback!

Another mentor, mike47, found us after retiring. ‘As I have recently retired, I was looking for some ways in which I might help others. I came across horsemouth whilst searching voluntary oportunities on the Internet. The concept of capturing and sharing a wealth of life-long experiences struck me as a brilliant idea and I’m really excited about getting involved. As well as hopefully being able to give useful advice, with any luck someone might help me with ideas on things to do in retirement.’

So if you’re an older person feeling a bit lonely or isolated, sign up today to share with us on horsesmouth. Someone needs your experience, and maybe you could learn a little something too. It could be the start of many fulfilling mentor relationship.

And if you know an older person who might be feeling isolated or suffering from loneliness, please share this post or point them towards horsemouth. There is so much to give and learn.

Mentoring for ex-prisoners – will it work?

9 05 2013

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling today announced plans to increase support for people being released from prison in England and Wales.

The plans include encouraging ‘mentoring support’ from former prisoners who have ‘turned their lives around, to help those who are yet to do so.’

Here at horsesmouth we have mentors who have experienced all sides of the system – from ex-offenders who have benefited from mentoring and become mentors themselves, to mentors who work within the prison service and voluntary sector.

One mentor works within the prison service and has set up a local charity providing mentors for prisoners coming to the end of their sentence. Of mentoring ex-prisoners he says,

‘I have been running Lighthouse Mentors now for 4 years. We are really getting some positive results. Some mentees do return to custody for various reasons but we found that they are mostly positive, and when they go back out they remember all the advice and guidance they have received and go on to serve their communities fully.

‘We are currently undergoing accreditation and evaluation and these are very busy times indeed. We have mentors waiting to join us. We have had some very good success stories and even one mentor who started with us as a mentee when he was in prison, so he has come full circle with us.

‘We have a very good crop of mentors and they are doing some marvellous work. A lot of my mentors coming through are ex-offenders and that is fantastic as they have experienced some of the situations the mentees find themselves in.’

One mentor who is an ex-prisoner believes that his time in prison puts him in the perfect position to ‘offer life changing advice to ex-prisoners, parolees, etc., who are struggling to find their feet after release.’

He says, ‘Being an ex-prisoner, I know what it’s like on the inside, being isolated, losing family and friends. I also know what its like to return to society, which in a lot of cases has changed dramatically. Having someone independent and anonymous to speak to helped me, and now, I want my turn to do this for others. Knowing how hard life can be, how cruel society can be, how isolated you can feel, puts me in a position to offer valued advice, or just an ear to listen.’

So, can mentoring help to rehabilitate ex-prisoners and prevent re-offending? From those who are already doing it, the answer seems to be ‘yes’.

Horsesmouth is a free-of-charge, fully moderated, online mentoring community. To become a mentor, search for a mentor, or find out more about what we do, go here.

Horsesmouth need a Community Manager

31 08 2012
Horsesmouth are recruiting for a Community Manager! With a huge online community of nearly 50,000, an active social media presence, and constant conversations on the site, we need a dynamic and motivated person to help connect our members, spread our message, and ensure the site runs smoothly.
Headline duties will include:
  • Actively and proactively managing the community, liaising with the moderators
  • Managing and amplifying the horsesmouth presence on social media channels in line with partnership, pr and topical agenda
  • Creating, writing and promoting a weekly blog/editorial
  • Managing  and reporting on client partnerships on the site, with some client liaison

The role itself will be part-time, at a minimum of 3 days per week, which can be spent partly in our office in Farringdon, London, and partly working remotely.

There is huge scope within the role to develop both what we do and your own skills and experience. You will be working with our founder, and will need initiative and enthusiasm to really make the role your own.

Sound interesting? Email us at jobs@horsesmouth.co.uk – we’d love to see your CV or LinkedIn, and a few writing samples.

Business mentoring – mentorsme.co.uk

13 07 2012

horsesmouth are thrilled to be partnering with mentorsme.co.uk, a collaborative online resource for UK small and medium-sized enterprises seeking mentoring.

The aim of mentorsme.co.uk is to provide those seeking business mentoring easy access to all existing mentoring organisations and networks under one umbrella. The site is free to use and offers businesses access to a list of quality-assured business mentoring organisations across Britain. The goal is to help businesses find a mentoring organisation to suit their needs in a fast and easy way.

For the huge stable (sorry!) of horsesmouth business and enterprise mentors, it’s a great fit.

The site also allows business professionals to get involved, and offer their services as a business mentor via the mentoring organisations listed. Aspiring mentors may want to work in a particular area of Britain and have a particular area of expertise to offer. The site has a directory which allows them to locate mentoring organisations that are the closest match to their profile.

mentorsme.co.uk also aims to raise awareness about the benefits of business mentoring through its library of online resources, which includes articles about mentoring and case studies of successful business mentoring relationships.

Have a look at this mentorsme.co.uk clip showing how having access to an experienced mentor in the early days of a business can be the key to success for a new company.

Find a mentor on mentorsme.co.uk here.

Sign up to become a mentorsme.co.uk mentor here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dementia Awareness Week.

21 05 2012

In support of Dementia Awareness Week, we will be sharing profiles and real-life stories of our Living Well With Dementia mentors. We have mentors sharing honest first-hand experience of dealing with dementia, and others who care for those dealing with it, whether as a paid carer, family member or friend.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates as the week goes on, or check back here, as we hope to post first-hand accounts of how mentoring on horsesmouth has helped those living with dementia.

In the meantime, check out this great clip from the Alzheimer’s Society Remember The Person campaign. Five things you should know about dementia.

Mentor Mondays.

16 04 2012

As we regularly do on Mentor Mondays, we’d like to share some of our newest mentors who have signed up. These are just a few of the people who have signed up to volunteer their time to mentor with us in the last couple of weeks; great new mentors that we’d like to get out there so the good work can begin! Why not get in there today and drop them a line?

First up, StartUpBuddy – a web entrepreneur with a successful online business, he is experienced in e-commerce, SEO and pay per click. He describes himself as, ‘a little obsessed with entrepreneurship and can’t wait to start a new business’. Maybe he could advise you on how to turn your business idea into reality, or help push your existing business to the next  level?

Seagull54 has 35 years or varied business experience, from senior menagement in multinationals through to directorships of medium sized companies. (£50-100m turnover.) Not only that, but he is a qualified practitioner coach and a Master Practitioner of NLP, Hypnotherapy and timeline therapy. His reason for mentoring? ‘At the age of 57 it is important for me to help people and to make a positive contribution to society.’

mentorBrove is someone we could all use from time to time – the IT guy! With 22 years of experience working in IT with public sector clients, he could be a great mentor to advise on your charity or social enterprise IT requirements. He says, ‘I have enjoyed helping many different clients get the best out of their IT services by ensuring that they understand and meet their business needs.’
And finally, DanniLou95 – a new young mentor, she describes herself as, ‘just your normal 16 year old girl who has been through the typical problems you face through your teenage years!’ She’s offering to share her experience and advise on essential teenaged issues such as friends, school life, exams and young love. Who didn’t need someone to talk to when they were a teenager?
Sign up to become a horsesmouth mentor today! It’s free, anonymous, easy and safe. Let someone else benefit from the lessons you’ve learned and share your wisdom.

Mentor Mondays.

2 04 2012

For today’s Mentor Monday, we want to share three exceptional new mentor profiles, all of whom have all signed up within the last week. Their common message is that they want to use the experience they’ve gained to help someone else: basically the central mission of horsesmouth!

First up: Edge is a successful entrepreneur in the financial sector, with top level experience at The Ford Motor Company, as well as being a published author of both business guides and novels. Impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree!

Of mentoring he says, ‘If I had known the things I know now when I was starting out my life would have been a lot easier and more profitable. We all learn by experience and in truth there is no shortcut. However, I believe that having an experienced person who can advise you and guide you as you go along is invaluable. In my career I have had many triumphs and I have also made my fair share of mistakes, some of which have been costly. As an experienced entrepreneur I should like to try and help others who are starting out avoid some of the business pitfalls that await them. ‘

Fiend85 is 26, and has an abundance of experience, both professional and personal. An engineer, she wants to mentor more women and young people to enter the field, saying, ‘I feel like because I had to work so hard to enter a career in engineering after almost failing my A-levels I could offer a lot of advice and support.’

Bereaved of her mother at a young age, she also wants to mentor others going through the same. ‘Grief and bereavement don’t have rules, they’re frightening and confusing for young people. They don’t know that as well as being sad or angry, they can experience panic attacks, paranoia, nightmares. They could be plunged into serious depressions and feel like self harming or ending their own lives. I want to be there to help them find their way through. Remind them that if they keep going they’ll be ok.’

She also dealt with realising she was gay in her teens, and says, ‘I’d like to help people understand that they were born the way they are, that it’s not their fault, and they don’t need curing.’ A wealth of useful experience just waiting to be tapped into.

Finally, Passioncoach is 53, a mother, accomplished in business strategy and development across global markets, including emerging markets. Of her achievements she says, ‘Early on I discovered that the only limit we have is the one we fix for ourself. I decided that my playing field will have no boundaries.’

So what are you waiting for, get them while they’re hot! These mentors have all signed up within the last week; why not make contact today? You could start the ball rolling on a great mentoring relationship…