Following my recent “graduation”,I want to express my deep appreciation of the outstanding stewardship of the Menslink Mentor Programme shown by you during the two memorable years I have enjoyed as a mentor.
Each and everyone of you have continually demonstrated fine human qualities and outstanding leadership abilities. No matter the need or request, complex or simple, you were always there with understanding, encouragement and active support.
And it is your hands on, practical contribution and dedication that contributes so positively to the Mentor Programme.
I vividly remember your quiet encouragement and guidance in those early days of selection and matching. How you helped us with those “new school, first day” nerves about being up for the task, fitting in and ultimately being matched successfully with a young mentee.
I also remember asking you how to be a good mentor and your simple response was to be myself, be honest and follow my best instincts. Well, it was in fact, that straightforward.
There is no mentor guide book. There is no mentoring formulae. And you don’t attempt to mandate one. I believe the programme is so successful, because it encourages us to use life experience and our best instincts in providing a positive context, challenge and support for the young men in our charge.
I am most pleased that [my mentee] and I will continue with the relationship we have developed and I will enjoy seeing his continuing growth. I have enjoyed every minute of my mentoring experience with the possible exception of the sleeping bags and primitive conditions at our various get togethers.
Not in contention is the fact that I will always count this experience as among the most important personal experiences of my life. I did not think I had it in me. But, you believed I did and, I think you may have been right.