We know becoming a volunteer mentor is a BIG decision. There’s lots of ways you can get more information before jumping in. You can review our frequently asked questions below, sign up for a virtual drop-in session, or email us with your questions using the form below.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: I don’t know much about children and youth, is that okay?
A: Yes! It doesn’t take much knowledge or experience to be a friend and positive role model, and your mentoring coordinator is always there to support you.
Q: What kinds of activities do Bigs and Littles do together?
A: We encourage Bigs and Littles to choose activities they both enjoy. Mentoring Coordinators do their best to match mentors with a Little who has interests similar to theirs. We host one event for matches every month. For example some of our past events included a visit to a trampoline park, a goat yoga class and a night of roller-skating. We also have a list of places in London that offer discounts exclusively for our matches.
Q: Can I be matched with someone that is a different gender than me?
A: Yes, we match Bigs with children of different genders depending on the situation.
Q: How old is too old to be a 1:1 mentor?
A: You are never “too old” to mentor a young person who could use some extra support. There is no age limit for our 1:1 mentoring programs. Please note: to facilitate our group programs, you must be between the ages of 18-25.
Q: How is a Little picked for me? Do I have any say?
A: When matching you with a Little, your mentoring coordinator carefully reviews your application, noting your stated preferences, activities you enjoy, your background, personality, where you live, and other information gathered during your interview. All of this information is carefully considered in order to make a compatible, comfortable match for you and your Little. Before introducing you to your Little, your mentoring coordinator will call you to tell you about the child to make sure you are comfortable and to answer any questions you may have. You will also have an opportunity to meet the child before the match is made. You do have the option to say ‘no’ – we want everyone to be excited about a new match.
Q: If I am a mentor in a program that is supposed to meet in person, can I meet up with my Little over video chat or by phone upon occasion (like when I am on vacation)?
A: Yes. We recognize that there will be times when meeting in person is not possible. And meeting virtually is better than not meeting at all. We have a mentoring app called MentorCity that you will learn how to use to meet up virtually.
Q: What if I can’t meet up at all on a particular week?
A: It’s okay if you can’t meet up on a particular week, but it is critical that you let your Little (and sometimes their family) know. It’s all about managing expectations!
Q: Will I get reimbursed for any expenses I incur related to my weekly match visits?
A: Unfortunately, we do not reimburse for any match visit expenses. This is why we encourage low- to no-cost activities and work hard to provide you with ideas, discounts, monthly match events, and of course the free match space at the Big Brothers Big Sisters office.
Q: What kind of support can I expect from my mentoring coordinator?
A: Your mentoring coordinator will be a key ally for you throughout your experience at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Your coordinator will be available to support you through any challenging situations and answer any questions you may have along the way. Through regular updates and ongoing monitoring, your coordinator will work with you to ensure you are continuing to create a developmental relationship with your Little.
Q: Can I be matched with more than one child?
You can 0nly be matched with one child at a time. It is a big commitment to become a mentor, and we want every Little to have an opportunity to create a lasting relationship with their Big.
Drop-In Q&A Sessions
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a mentor before applying, join us at one of our online drop-in sessions. These sessions are a great opportunity to ask questions and meet some of our staff.
Email Us Your Question
Can’t make it to a drop-in session? Type your question below and we’ll get back to you during our regular business hours.