I wonder if, looking back on our childhood years, we can remember a mentor – a figure who guided us through the tough times in our lives and gave us confidence to reach our potential. Today is National Mentoring Day, a celebration of those who have made a tangible difference to the lives of those they support, just like our incredible Early Intervention coaches.
Every week, our coaches make an amazing impact forming connections with the children that they support each week, helping them to overcome the difficult circumstances that they may be facing, from bereavement to poverty. Some children just need someone to talk to, who will listen to their fears and hopes, build their self-esteem and teach them that they can achieve all the things they never thought they’d be able to. Others need help controlling their temper and learning how to handle their feelings because they don’t know how to react to the situations that they face.
Whatever the reason, our Early Intervention coaches are there each and every week for one hour, dedicated to their child; and the changes that come about as a result are truly inspiring. We continue to see a 91% improvement in behaviour after a child has been coached, and 74% of children describe that they are now happier in school. For Kobi, having a coach introduced the presence of a positive role model into his life and made all the difference to his outlook on the future. “It makes me feel happy that I’ve got someone with me. It builds you up to get more courage to say out loud what you think,” he said. That’s what it’s all about – helping a child to see their potential and all that they might achieve.
There are many examples of mentoring in the Bible, but none are as powerful as Jesus’ mentoring of his disciples. Jesus loved his disciples deeply, and it was that love which made him eager to teach, answering their questions within his wider teaching and guiding them along their paths. He forgave them for their mistakes and patiently helped them to reach their potential as they journeyed in faith. In seeking to coach or mentor let’s look to Christ for guidance, committing ourselves to helping and teaching those in need just as he did for his disciples, and as they did for others.
So today we want to encourage you to think about who you could mentor. It may be a colleague, someone at church, or a struggling child through TLG. The difference that you could make to someone by sharing your knowledge, experience, or just by being a friendly face and a listening ear cannot be underestimated, and you can trust us when we say that there’s nothing as rewarding as seeing someone truly reach their potential and overcome their difficulties.
Sarah started at TLG as an intern after graduating from the University of York. She loves reading and writing, and is passionate about supporting struggling children through her work in the Trusts and Foundations team at TLG.