Meet the Mentors – Carers Week.

19 06 2012

It’s Carers Week. We’ve written plenty about carers and caring on this blog before: caring can be hugely rewarding but also extremely challenging, with carers often making huge sacrifices to care for family members or loved ones. Carers Week aims to bring attention to the huge numbers of those caring long hours, struggling to balance their duties with work, unpaid, and the huge numbers of young people who are providing hours of care per week.

Among our mentors we have carers young and old who want to share their experience and advice to help others in the same situation. If you’re seeking support as you provide care to a loved one, maybe a mentor could help?

Clara43, 44, from South Yorkshire
‘I was a young carer for my mum who has mental health problems and after training I set up and managed a young carers project providing emotional and practical support, information, advice and advocacy as well as therapeutic work. Many people when feeling alone and isolated turn to the internet for help. I hope to be a port of call for this.’

Shelley9912, 24, graduate in Forensic Psychology
‘My mother is mentally ill and she requires full-time care. Separate from the fact that my mother is mentally ill I know very well how it is to be a carer. I have sacrificed a lot to look after and help my mother and I know that sometimes those sacrifices that we make can go unnoticed. I know that being a carer can be very daunting at first.’

nicemum, 49, an adopter and birthmum
‘I’ve been a young carer who supported a parent suffering from depression and bereavement and two younger siblings. This is a mighty burden for any child to bear and it is a deeply formative experience, I am happy to talk to any carers out there.’

CateH, 40, a self employed childminder
‘I was a carer for my mum for many years, she had leukemia and dementia so I know how hard it is to be a carer and the need for support. I was my mum’s full time carer having given up work, so I lost a whole way of life. I miss her terribly and know the pain, physical and emotional, that comes with grief.’

carriesyrup, 29, a carer and reiki therapist
‘I look after my mum who has mental health problems, so I am a carer to my mum and also work as a carer for the elderly.  I love what I do and I love helping others. It has made me a better person in myself and now I am at a stage where I can help others through similar situations.’

To contact any of these mentors, simply click ‘contact mentor’ on their profile. If you are new to horsesmouth, you will need to register first – it’s free and easy! To search for other mentors to contact, or to sign up as a mentor yourself, go to our homepage. Good luck and happy mentoring!


Mentor Mondays.

11 06 2012

It’s that time of year! Lots of our new mentors signing up are young mentors, offering advice on school and university life; dealing with exams pressure and stress, choosing courses and applying for university, and dealing with the new way of life that going to university brings, away from home and family.

Here are just a few of the new mentors who have signed up in the last month, just a fraction of the horsesmouth mentors offering advice on this topic, but why not snag a new mentor before someone else does? Let’s meet them.

rhaugh1, 20, about to finish second year studying Psychology at Northumbria University in Newcastle. ‘As someone who has recently encountered the university application process, I am knowledgeable on the procedures involved, what makes a good university application, how to choose a university and how to prepare for course interviews. As a member of my university swim and triathlon team, Psychology Society secretary and an active volunteer inside my university, I am informed of the different opportunities available to students. I am able to provide advice on making the most of university, coping with university work and peer pressures and general welfare.’

DaisyF, 21, just finished third year of a health degree and about to go on to a mental health nursing degree in September. ‘When I originally applied for university, I didn’t reach the grades I needed for the course I had applied for. However, my first choice of university offered me the opportunity to study a different degree with the possibility of transferring to my original course dependent on my grades. Although at first I wasn’t sure, during my first year I realised that my original degree wasn’t really for me and this led me to my future degree. I am so happy that the alternative degree was given as another option and it all happened the way that it did.  This helped me to learn that when something doesn’t go your way, it’s not the end of the world and things will have someway of working out as long as you are willing to try something different and work hard!’

LawUndergrad, a 20 year old Law undergraduate, living in rural Lancashire. ‘I am a young person who has been through school, college and I am now in university. I have experience in deciding a career path, navigating friendships, handling a workload and moving in with housemates for the first time. I would like to mentor on this subject because these issues can seem all encompassing at the time and an objective viewer can often help one realise the issue is not quite as daunting as it initially seems.’

Ads, 27, living in Somerset. ‘I have been through university however I am not naturally good at my studies and I have always had to work hard. I’ve been a D student who turned themselves in to a B student and have overcome many obstacles to do this. I have learnt it is about working on your strengths and taking a logical approach, breaking things down, etc. I have always studied economics and have a general interest in finance. When I graduated from university I was in debt but have since turned this around. I can offer practical advice on this subject.’

To contact any of these mentors, simply click ‘contact mentor’ on their profile. If you are new to horsesmouth, you will need to register first – it’s free and easy! To search for other mentors to contact, or to sign up as a mentor yourself, go to our homepage. Good luck and happy mentoring!

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 – Channel 4 Internships.

26 03 2012

Got talent and want to get into TV? Channel 4 Internships could be for you. You don’t need special qualifications, not even a degree, but bags of enthusiasm and talent. The internships are paid and run across various departments, from Commissioning to Marketing. 

Where does horsesmouth come into this? Our partnership with 4Talent, the team who manage the internships, offers online mentoring with current Channel 4 staff, across all disciplines. So, if you need advice about interning, or tips for your application, you can get them straight from the horse’s mouth. So to speak.

We’ve even got a 4Talent mentor who used to be an intern herself. Who better to ask for advice?

Keep an eye on the Channel 4 Internships page on the 4Talent website, to keep up to date with the latest available internships. 

Share while you care: how mentoring can help carers.

22 03 2012

There are six million people in the UK who care, unpaid, for a parent, sibling or friend who is sick, frail or disabled. Whilst it can be intensely rewarding to be able to offer care to a loved one in this way, it can also be draining and frustrating. Government funding to support carers is scarce and often difficult to qualify for and carers often find themselves struggling to juggle work, life and family on top of their caring duties.

Support and mutual advice can be invaluable if you are going through the mill of being a carer. As you are caring for a loved one, it can be difficult to admit the difficulties and frustrations of the situation you are in, as they are tied up with strong feelings of guilt and other complex emotions.

Anonymous peer mentoring with those who understand exactly what you are going through can be an invaluable source of support and encouragement, as well as a great outlet to get things off your chest. We have mentors who are carers, both young and old, offering advice and support based on a close understanding of what you are going through. Because they are going through it as well.

Let’s meet some of the horsesmouth mentors who have been there done that; are currently or have been carers, offering their wisdom and support to help others.

Nicemum, 48, says: ‘I’ve been a young carer who supported a parent suffering from depression and bereavement and two younger siblings. This is a mighty burden for any child to bear and it is a deeply formative experience, I am happy to talk to any carers out there.’

Shelley9912 is a young graduate, currently caring full-time for her mother. ‘Separate from the fact that my mother is mentally ill I know very well how it is to be a carer. I have sacrificed a lot to look after and help my mother and I know that sometimes those sacrifices that we make can go unnoticed.’

‘I know that being a carer can be very daunting at first. I know how upsetting it can be to help someone look after their personal hygiene for the first time. I have been a carer for quite some time now. I have useful systems to help myself with my mothers different medications and hospital appointments and doctors appointments and mental health team appointments.’

Helpu is a grandfather and civil servant, caring for his wife with Alzheimers. ‘I work in government on the commercial side and have experienced the pain of living with someone with Alzheimers for 10 years. I have been a carer of someone with this illness and I understand the fears, frustration and guilt that carers can experience.’

‘My motivation is that I want to help other people as I was helped. This is a good means of helping as its very anonymity makes it easier for people to talk. I dont have all the answers but I can listen and thus offer the chance for the person with the problem to bring everything to the open and for them to find their own answers.’

Henskm, 54, is a nursing sister and a grandmother, who cared for her father with Alzheimers. ‘My Dad is my sole motivation for joining horsemouth, so I can carry on giving and attempting to understand and console people whose nearest and dearest have dementia. You are not on your own even though your world is crashing down on you and what you have known as normal, like me having a lovely Dad who was so much part of my life, changed to someone that changed so much. Although he recognised me to the last. This is his legacy, that I can help others.’

Do these stories ring a bell with you? If so, connect today. We partner with Living well with dementia, browse their mentor profiles here. Or, search on the homepage using keywords.

For more advice and information on caring visit:

International Women’s Day.

8 03 2012

To celebrate International Women’s Day it seems only right to shout about some of our exceptional female mentors, of all ages and backgrounds, with every range of experience you could imagine – and then some.

There are women with unusual stories such as Chameleon, who completely changed her life and relocated to live in a hut in a forest in Norway; or Wings, a mother and self-professed housewife who learned how to pilot at the age of 40. There are women who have gathered a lifetime of experience and qualifications and simply want to share their wisdom. Then there are those who have had successful TV careers as well as getting their books published, or started successful businesses. And those who have added motherhood into the mix, too.

We have young female mentors offering advice on university life, love and relationships and the struggles that young women face such as eating disorders, school life and bullying.

Yet more inspirational mentors: those who have raised to the top of their game in business, who have managed to balance children, work and life, or simply women who found their path in life through trial and error and want to help others along the way. Then there are the visionaries who do what makes them tick instead of living inside the box.

One of the great advantages of horsesmouth is that it is anonymous. This means that subjects that might be difficult to express in real life are much easier to raise, honestly and without fear of judgement. We have mentors who advise on miscarriage, domestic violence, rape, and post-natal depression. And because we are fully moderated, you can be confident that these sensitive conversations are talking place securely.

All in all, as you would expect, the mix of our female mentors is as rich and varied as you would imagine, with the bonus of anonymity to enable freedom of expression. And of course, it’s totally free. So, if you haven’t already signed up, what are you waiting for — get involved today!

Volunteering, made easy.

23 02 2012

Would you like to volunteer but feel you don’t have the time? People increasingly feel they do not have enough time to do everything they want to do in their lives, or the energy to do it. Research shows that 48% of people don’t believe they have enough time to do everything they want to do, and 56% feel they don’t that have the energy to get it done.

This is reflected in the plateau in people volunteering their time, as people feel they have less time to volunteer and prioritise their time more carefully.

All of which makes online mentoring the perfect option, if you feel that you are time-poor. The clear benefits of volunteering in this way are that it is flexible (you can choose when and how long you spend doing it), and you can you can do it from your laptop, cutting down on precious travelling time.

HopeItHelps, a 26 year old graduate explains, ‘This kind of mentoring is excellent as it is accessible. I think the best mentors are probably busy people who may not have time to actively go into their community but do have a few hours/minutes available to spend online.’

And there’s no need to train. Whatever your life experience is, from being a successful entrepreneur to a mother of twins (or maybe both!)… your advice, or even just a listening ear, is guaranteed to be of use to someone somewhere.

As one of our mentors ohsoserene says, ‘I joined horsesmouth as it seemed a very easy way to help people and it can fit around my own life. It’s too easy for people to become isolated these days and just having someone to talk to can be a life saver. Horsesmouth seems a perfect way to let people know they’re not alone in his fast moving, digital age.’

We even have a time tracker function on the site, which allows you to keep a track of how much time you’re spending on mentoring. Mentor theplayethic is a busy, successful father of two, and says, ‘I like the idea of being available for a few hours a week to share my practical knowledge and wisdom with others who might benefit from it.’

Another mentor, cosmicjulie, CEO of a social enterprise and an MA student sums it up perfectly, ‘I’m always keen to help others develop and looking for ways to use technology to make the most of the time I have available – horsesmouth provides an ideal solution for me to ‘volunteer’ in the way which suits me best.’

So, maybe volunteering is more accessible than you thought. Even just a few hours a week could make a real difference to someone’s life: a few hours here and there, multiplied by many, equals real change.

Even if you just want to find out more about what other volunteering options are out there and what might suit you best, horsesmouth can help. Ask one of our many mentors who volunteer and offer advice on volunteering

To register to mentor on horsesmouth today, click here.