Arts Emergency

Mentoring FAQs

What does an Arts Emergency Mentor do?

Arts Emergency mentors work voluntarily with a young person over the course of a year, helping them to gain confidence, connections and the advice they need to succeed in their chosen subject/industry. With the support of Arts Emergency and our network, mentoring pairs decide on a number of goals for the year and then work towards achieving them.

How much time does mentoring take?

Mentor pairs meet once a month for about an hour. Traditionally these meetings happen face to face. Because of coronavirus and social distancing, meetings may need to take place by phone or video chat. We will review guidance for this in the mentor training session. In between sessions you may find you communicate by email. Mentoring can be flexible around your commitments. During busy periods e.g. exams, you may not meet every month but mentor pairs tend to make up for it the following month.

If I come to training when will I be matched with a young person?

We’ll match you when we have a young person interested in your area of expertise. We train slightly more mentors per mentee, this helps us make the best possible match for that young person but means we are unable to match all trained mentors every year. If you are not matched, we will continue to contact you if we do have a suitable match further down the line or when we next recruit young people. After mentors have completed training, they will hear from us by the end of November about potential mentee matches.

What is covered in training?

Because of coronavirus, we will run our mentor training sessions on Zoom. The training will last approximately 2 hours. We will share information digitally before and after the session. We will arrange breakout rooms for discussion and questions.
We’ll cover how the Arts Emergency mentoring programme works and all the tools you need to be an amazing mentor. At training you’ll learn transferable skills about coaching, safeguarding and structuring mentoring sessions. We’ll also answer any questions you might have about supporting a young person.

I have already trained as a mentor and have yet to be matched, when will this happen?

We train slightly more mentors per mentee, as this helps us make the best possible match for each young person so we are unable to match all trained mentors every year. If you are not matched in 2021, we will get in touch with other ways for you to support young people through Arts Emergency. We will also contact you if we do have a suitable match further down the line or when we next recruit young people. We will get in touch with mentors by the end of November about potential mentee matches. If you have already had training and would like to be considered as a mentor in 2021, drop us an email on Please see below for information on additional training.

I trained as a mentor some time ago, do I need to re-train?

No, if you have already come along to a session, you do not need to re-train. If you would like to re-train, you would be very welcome at one of our training sessions in September or October. We are also happy to remind you of the key points of mentoring when you are matched with a young person. You will also need to do a short refresher on safeguarding, which we will arrange as an online session when you are matched.

The training session I want to attend is booked up, is there a waiting list?

Please sign up to the waiting list on the Eventbrite page, or look at whether another training date fits with your schedule.

Will you be holding more training sessions?

Training sessions happen every year in September and October. We will notify our network if any more training sessions are planned, so if you are interested make sure you have signed up to our network.

Do I need to live in a specific area of the UK to mentor?

We are looking for mentors who are based in London, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

What are you looking for in a mentor?

Our mentors are all different, which is what we love. We’re especially keen to hear from people who may have shared experience with the young people we support, such as people of colour, LGTBQIA people, disabled people and those who have identified as working class. Mentors should be able to relate well to people, are good at problem solving or talking through issues, reliable and committed and able to provide insight from their personal experiences. We ask mentors to uphold our values of being bold, optimistic and a community. We will ask matched mentors to agree to a Code of Conduct and provide a referee we can contact for a character reference.

Most of our mentors have studied an arts or humanities subject at university level and/or have worked in the creative industries for 4+ years. Below is a list of the areas that our mentors have focused on throughout 2020:

Architecture – Fashion – Comedy – Journalism – Politics & Activism – Academia – Dance – Marketing – Acting – Music – English Lit/Lang – Interior Design – Museums – Publishing – Art & Design – Film & TV – Sociology – Art History – Games Design – Philosophy – Theatre – Music Tech – Classics – History – Photography – Writing

If your area of expertise is not on this list, let us know as we are always happy to expand it!