About One Million Mentors
“Mentors are gifts to the world. They encourage, motivate, reinforce, and guide others to reach individual greatness. Mentors have the power to change lives”
Lonnie Ali - 2016 Muhammad Ali’s widow
In order to strengthen its offer to young people UpRising is establishing a new initiative: One Million Mentors (1MM). Over the past seven years UpRising has gained a deep understanding of the importance of good mentoring. Mentoring is a critical factor in widening horizons, opportunities, and networks for young people. 1MM will build a national online platform to recruit, train and deploy mentors to organisations working with young people. There is both need and support for an online platform, alongside face-to-face training which raises the quality of mentoring, tracks impact, and scales the mentoring offer to help young people maximise their talents and get into the world of work. Our ambition is to build a movement of a million mentors over the next decade.
Young people today are suffering the worst economic prospects for several generations. Though mentoring is understood to have an impact on increasing opportunities for young people, the current offer in the UK is patchy in terms of quality, delivery and impact.
For professionals (current and retired) mentoring offers the opportunity to get out of their bubble; to do good in a structured way; and to use their talents, skills and experiences effectively in order to help skill up the future work force. 1MM is needed now more than ever in the post-Brexit era, where we have seen deep divisions between generations and social classes being exposed in our country.
1MM is timely and can help bridge these gaps by harnessing the experiences and talents of people from different backgrounds in order to support diverse young people to get into the world of work.
1MM is a pioneering approach using the advantages of technology in order to transform the process of mentoring for all. Our aim is to provide opportunities and a safe space for the mentor-mentee to widen their horizons, help break down social barriers, and develop mutual respect and understanding between people of different backgrounds.
What we will do
1MM will harness the experiences and talents of people from different backgrounds to support young people to get into the world of work. We will use the latest digital technologies to develop an online platform to recruit, train and deploy mentors to organisations working with young people. We will be responsible for ongoing recruitment across the UK, national campaigns, background checks on all applicants and initial communication with potential mentors. Importantly we will also monitor the impact of the mentors on young people, against a researched and tested set of indicators, via agreed links back to the receiving organisation.
We will identify, recruit, train and accredit mentors and connect them to young people through partner organisations working with young people, including establishing relevant safeguarding checks. Potential mentors will be signposted to our online platform which will provide information on the role of a mentor, the skills and time commitment required, details of all of our partner organisations and all relevant training materials. They will also have access to face-to-face training in their local area.
Our process will be iterative with the ambition to recruit a million mentors over the next decade. We aim to start with a pilot stage which will allow us to test out the online offer with a modest number of mentors so that we can adapt and refine the product. We recognise the importance of taking the time to get this vital stage right in order to then rapidly scale up to a million.