Lily and MCR Pathways

How mentoring through our charity partner helped boost one girl's confidence

We spoke to Lily, 15, about her experiences with MCR Pathways, one of our charity partners:

I was a very anxious person, I had loads of issues with my friendship group at secondary school and I didn’t feel I could express it. It was all going downhill and I kind of hid away in a little hidey hole. Until the mentoring programme came along – it’s helped incredibly.

My mentor’s name is Ellie and she’s my best friend – I love her so much. We’re really close, we have lots in common and she helps me with a lot of different things. She makes me feel very open and happy.

During our first conversation, it was awkward as we’d just met but I felt comfortable straightaway with her, it was a totally new feeling that I can’t even describe - like I could trust this person, and say anything to her. She’s amazing.

I want to be an author and I’m in the middle of writing a book right now and Ellie’s helped me with ideas for the plot and characters and stuff so that’s our main topic of conversation.

In the future I want to write for teens and adults. I’m still in the planning phase but soon I’ll start writing it, but I’m having to fit it in around revision. I find writing very peaceful.

I feel the same but in some aspects I’ve changed; I’m still shy when it comes to new people but I warm to people more quickly than I did before – it’s boosted my confidence. I used to go to Student Services a lot with my worries, but my teachers have noticed I’m not there so much anymore – I’m more confident and my friendships are getting easier. And I’m more confident at home too - I used to go straight to my room when I got in from school but now I’m chattier. I’m happier now, yeah I’m alright.

When I first got introduced to the programme I was very nervous about it – and I had my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t be matched with an old person! But I’ve felt very happy with the programme, it’s just really helpful. I would recommend people to do the programme because it can help you with your worries about school and expressing yourself. You meet them once a week and you can unload on them, have a conversation.

MCR Pathways is a national mentoring charity dedicated to address the deep-rooted inequality in education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances for young people in care and from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Young Herts Talent is a school-based mentoring programme that matches volunteer mentors with secondary school students to support them through one-to-one mentoring sessions in school for one period a week.