What’s it like to be an Envision Business Mentor?

The St. James's Place Foundation have been strong supporters of Envision since 2011. Their staff are among our best mentors, but they tell us its not just young people who benefit from the sessions.

At Envision, we offer amazing employee volunteering opportunities to our corporate partners. Being a Business Mentor as part of our Community-Apprentice programme is a great way to pass on your knowledge and experience to young people. St. James's Place wealth management have taken part in our programme for many years. Their dedication to helping our young people has really shown, with their mentors picking up the much coveted ‘Supporting Organisation of the Year’ award. Here is what they have to say.

The first time I met my group, I turned up wearing a suit with a shirt and tie. They asked if I was a professional football manager! With that, I took of my tie off and threw it to one side. It’s really important to be on the same wavelength when working with young people.

Business mentoring for young people is effective as it helps bring out their ideas when working together on a project. It’s not my ideas, it’s theirs, and you can only achieve this by asking the right questions and helping them understand what it is they want to achieve.

What made me want to do Envision was the fact that a lot of young people need help. The ability to mentor these individuals through Envision and see them progress in the Community-Apprentice programme and develop as individuals gave me real satisfaction.

Peter Yearling, Partnership Development Manager, St. James's Place

I believe all young people have skills, a lot of the time it’s just having the confidence to put yourself out there. The responsibility of a Business Mentor is to bring out the best in any young person you work with, helping them recognise and develop the skills they already have. Growing self-awareness and self-belief are crucially important.

As a Business Mentor you work with such a variety of young people. Some are really shy and face difficulties interacting socially, some people struggle with maintaining their focus. What’s great about being a mentor is that you get to understand people and recognise their qualities. When I started work I wasn’t as confident, I wasn’t as self-aware, so trying to instil these qualities and beliefs in young people is really rewarding.

Karen Linsey, Partnership Development Manager, St. James's Place

For me personally, it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done. I live 2 hours from Bristol, but when I get there, and I see the smiles on their faces and get the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience, it’s worth it.

Any company considering doing business mentoring with Envision shouldn’t hesitate. Working together with young people, on a project with a common goal has been fabulous. You’ll be amazed at how much value you can add as a mentor.

Jan Jago, Senior Partnerships Development Manager, St. James's Place