Volunteer Spotlight – Francis Peppett
What drew you to become a volunteer?
I have worked with young adults for a number of years through my work in higher education. For some time, I have wanted to work more closely with young people from the city I live in and with those who may not have the same support networks as the students I usually work with. I was attracted to the 1625 mentoring scheme due to its objective of building a shared confidence and positivity between mentor and mentee.
How did 1625 support you as a volunteer? What teams or projects did you engage with?
I felt very supported throughout my mentoring experience. I had regular check-ins and conversations with Puegee to discuss goals, objectives, and challenges during my time as a mentor. In the lead-up to being paired, I was also given training and guidance on the fundamentals of mentoring, which in turn gave me good insight into the 1625 culture towards supporting young people. Whilst my mentoring has now finished, I am now engaging with 1625 on a photography heritage project, which I’m really looking forward to!
What difference and impact did it have on you?
My mentoring experience was, above all, a fun and enjoyable experience. I got to share things I enjoy with a young person and, in turn, watch them gain confidence and energy through sharing these experiences with me. It was uplifting to see my mentee develop in certain ways during our mentoring experience: becoming more vocal, sharing more of their life experiences, and developing in confidence in group situations. Furthermore, the experience has encouraged me to keep working with 1625, and I look forward to mentoring or turning my hand to other areas of support in the future!
In what ways do you feel more confident? What skills have you gained?
I think the experience has developed my ability to understand and empathise with people I wouldn’t usually engage with. This has given me confidence in helping and supporting them and, as said above, the drive to continue working in this area going forward.
What are your plans for the future?
I am working with 1625 on their Kingsley Hall Heritage Project in July. I’ll be supporting a photography workshop and hope to continue supporting this project in the future. I will then be going on a career break in January (travelling in South-East Asia!), yet I hope to return to mentoring work on my return in late spring 2024.
If you could sum up working for 1625ip in a sentence, what would it be?
1625’s mentoring scheme underlines the value of the ‘little things’. Whether it’s a day at the football or a chat over a cup of coffee, having space not to be judged and listened to on a consistent basis can have a significant impact on feelings of self-worth and happiness.