Meet the mentor.

23 05 2012

As part of Dementia Awareness Week, we would like you to meet kennc: a mentor with our partner Living Well With Dementia. He is 62 and has early onset Lewy body dementia. A Dignity Champion, he mentors on horsesmouth to help others and give as much support as possible to everyone on the dementia journey. He agreed to share with us his experiences of mentoring on horsesmouth.

‘When I was told about horsesmouth I really did not know what it was nor did I understand what it was trying to achieve. However it soon became part of my life and I found that as someone with the illness, I could help others, whether they were people with dementia, carers, loved ones, or family friends.’

‘I have helped quite a few people and feel as if I have gained many new friends in return.’

‘This is an independent website where people can go for impartial support and advice about any illness, and no matter what illness you have there is always someone there to help and support you, day and night.’

‘Most of those on this website have experience in one form or another and although dementia is a big topic we always try to help, but do not give medical advice.’

‘The main problem is that although there are around 12 different types of dementia, there are well over 120 variations of the illness and each person goes down a different route and has different symptoms, so no two people with the illness are the same and this causes many problems with people who think that their symptoms don’t match the norm.’

‘I feel that it is sometimes a very good thing to have something like horsesmouth, as we get diagnosed with illness such as dementia and we feel totally numb, and after the diagnosis has sunk in the questions start to come. But there is not always someone around to give you the answers and this is where horsesmouth can come into its own, as there are people there most of the time and quite a few have the illness.’

‘I also feel that many people could enjoy the experience of mentoring and supporting others in their time of need, and when it works well you really get a buzz and a sense of achievement, ‘a job well done’, so I would recommend it to anyone who wants to become a mentor and help others through a difficult time, and usually help yourself in the process.’

‘So if you are willing to help and have the free time why don’t you come and join us?’

Why not take kennc up on on his invitation? You could start a mentoring relationship today that could change your life. Our Living Well With Dementia mentors have a wide range of experience. To read more, and maybe meet your future mentor, click here.


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.

Meet the mentors who defy definition.

20 04 2012

Something we regularly notice at horsesmouth HQ is how our mentors rarely have only one story to tell; an entrepreneur may also be a single parent, struggling to make the balance work. A teenager may also be a carer for an elderly parent. These varied frameworks of experience are of course what makes the individual advice of each mentor so valuable. Each different perspective, informed with a unique set of references, adds up to a fresh angle on whatever problem or goal you might be trying to tackle.

Today we wanted to introduce a few of our mentors who can’t be defined by the ticking of a box.

Meet entrepreneur and family man MVN. As well as mentoring on how to grow start-ups and mid-size companies, his personal life has given him insight into relationships and bringing up children.

‘Having got divorced when my daughters were 9 and 13 and then bringing them up alone for the next 11 years, I gained great insight into teenage development, pressures and relationships with their peers and adults. My own marriage ended due to my wife’s infidelity so adding that experience to that of my kids’ means I can talk with some personal insights into the pressures that happen in many relationships.’

Likewise, toastedbun. With experience at director and manager level in several SMEs, as well as starting several businesses up from scratch, he is happily married with one stepdaughter, having been through the divorce, family courts and learned a lot about life’s ups and downs.

As well as offering business advice, he wants to mentor on how to deal with stress, saying, ‘Having been through this myself I can understand and help those going through a stressful time either at work or with the family. I have learned a lot about how to cope and how to solve the issues that cause stress.’

Onioncompany describes herself as, ‘almost a workaholic but a love of life prevents me from tipping over the edge into 60 hour weeks.’ She’s passionate about helping small businesses and firmly believes that they are the life blood of the British economy. But as well as that, she is passionate about interior design. ‘Just a passion of mine and apparently I’m not too bad at it! I’m also a great lover of photography, art, antiques, travel and food.’

Noridoha is one of our 4Talent mentors and has had an incredible portfolio career, with over ten years experience in developing and pitching TV ideas. However, as well as this she is a published author. ‘I never thought I ‘had a book in me’, until I signed up for a writing course on a whim.  I secured my first choice agent within a few days of submitting my proposal and got a publisher contract not long after that. I can advise you on how to write a book proposal and on what happens after you get a contract.’

Wings is a self-defined housewife, but the clue is in the name as to her other alter-ego; she is also a trained pilot. ‘I may not be a professional, but I have life experience, having been happily married for 21 years, and I have a daughter of 20 and a son of 17. I have started my own business and have volunteered in various capacities. I am also a pilot, having learned to fly at the ripe old age of 40!’

Chameleon went from being bullied at school, which she offers mentoring on, to moving to a forest in Norway to set up a retreat. ‘ I have been living there for two years, during which time I have had lots of time to think over my life and come close to who I really am. Now that I don’t have so many distractions, no TV, newspapers, radio, I can hear my own voice again, and it is amazing that I surrounded myself with so many superficial things for so long.’

And last but definitely not least, is Assistocrat. Having started and grown successful businesses, he is now an investor. ‘I invest in a broad range of assets including equities, funds, derivatives and commodities, as well as more exotic niche instruments. I am a chartist at heart and over the last ten years have developed and refined my trading system and style.’ But as well as his successful business ventures he has also authored over 35 books, including fiction and many nonfiction titles.

Proof that there really are two sides to every coin; an impressive variety of experience and achievement. To contact any of these mentors for advice, register to join the horsesmouth community today.

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.

Mentoring, the horsesmouth way.

13 04 2012

horsesmouth is where social networking meets social enterprise; where personal contributions create public value; where human capital is unlocked to create social capital. It’s social networking with a purpose. We call it the wisdomocracy. Because it’s free, it’s accessible to all (as long as you’re over 16!) and because it’s anonymous, you can share from the heart. 

What can mentoring do?
Adam attends Alcoholics Anonymous, Bilal runs a business, Chris studies chemistry at college and Diane lives with diabetes. What do they all have in common? They could all share the lessons they’ve learned from experience with fellow horsesmouth members facing the same situation.  If you have successfully faced an important choice, challenge or change in your life – and who hasn’t – you could help people by signing up to be a mentor. And if you’re going through something, getting over something or simply want to get on with something – there’s probably someone out there who’s been in your shoes. Everyone has something to give and gain. That’s why we like to call it the wisdomocracy.

What’s in it for you?
Drawing on your life experiences to help others is rewarding and allows you to breathe the heady air of the moral high ground. But think about it – it’s just like eBay – all that stuff you’ve got locked up in your head that you rarely think about and that no-one really benefits from can now be unlocked and shared with people who will really value it. In short – this is an easy and fun way to give something back. Or if you’re a younger mentor it can be very helpful in building the kind of skills that employers love – listening, problem-solving and learning from experience.  And if you’re competitive – or think you have an aptitude for it – our MFactor rating system allows you to build your reputation as a mentor – which in some way, some day you may well be able to take to the bank.

What’s in it for our community?
Communicating with someone who has been in your shoes can be really helpful, no matter who or where you are. While it may not substitute for professional advice, family or friends, sometimes it’s exactly what you need. But often social, geographic, physical and emotional barriers can make it hard to find that someone. horsesmouth breaks down those barriers to access and allows people all over the UK to come together anonymously and confidentially, to share their life experiences.

As one of our mentors Tom38 says, ‘I remember coming home from work late one night a couple of years ago. I bumped into my neighbour who was also late home. I’d not really spoken to him before, but at 10pm in the dark we stood and talked for half an hour about how things were going, and about life. It turned out we’d both recently lost a parent. He said to me, ‘Everyone has their crosses to bear, it’s how you carry them that counts’. That phrase really stuck with me and it came from someone I didn’t really know.’

‘Life can be tough and it’s not always easy to get advice from someone you know already. I’d like to help in any way I can. I’m 38, old enough to have some good experience of life, but also young enough to feel connected to younger people looking for some advice. I’m a good listener and want to help anyone I can move in the right direction. Mentoring is a great thing and this site is a great idea.’

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to start mentoring today! Or, to benefit from the wisdom of someone who’s going through the same thing as you, why not search for a mentor, or post a request for a mentor? It could be the first step towards changing your life.

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…

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.