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 in the 1:1 Community Mentoring Program?

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 encourage ativities to be no cost/low cost such as hiking, playing sports at the park, visiting a library, baking or playing video games. We have a list of places in London that offer discounts exclusively for our matches. We also host one event for matches every month. Some of our past events included a cooking class, a goat yoga class and a night of roller-skating.

Q: What kinds of activities do Bigs and Littles do as part of the 1:1 In School Mentoring Program?

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. Activities can include board games, crafts, reading, sports, puzzles or help with tricky homework.

Q: Can I be matched with someone that is a different gender than me?

A: Yes, we match Bigs with children of different genders. We explore this option during the matching process.

Q: What is the age limit be a 1:1 mentor? 

A: You are never “too old” to mentor a young person who could use some extra support. The minimum age to volunteer for our 1:1 mentoring programs is 18. 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, we carefully review your application, noting your stated preferences, activities you enjoy, your background, personality, where you live, and other information gathered during your enrollment. All of this information is considered in making a compatible match for you and your Little. Before introducing you to your Little, we will discuss with you potential options for matching. You will 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: 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 build a strong relationship with your Little.

Q: Can I be matched with more than one child?

You can only 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.

Q: What does the enrollment process look like?

Our enrollment process has several steps, and while this might seem a little daunting, the goal is to ensure that we are meant for each other and you are meant for your Little!

It’s difficult for us to say how long the enrollment process takes. That’s because you “drive the ship” – it all depends on how quickly you get the tasks done in each step. But generally, you can count on at least one month.

Are you ready? Take a breath. Here goes…

1. Complete the become a mentor form: After submitting the form on our website, you will receive an email from our volunteer coordinator with the application form and instructions to schedule your interview. Congratulate yourself for taking the first step.

2. Schedule an interview: Interviews will take place at our office at 415 Wharncliffe Rd S. You’ll need to count on about 1.5 hours so that we can get really get to know you.

3. Complete and submit your application: This is your opportunity to tell us more about you! This includes sharing you past experiences and why you are interested in becoming a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area.

4. Provide references: You’ll be asked to provide 3 references (personal, family and work/volunteer-related). References will be contacted by email. Please bring your completed reference form to the interview.

5. Attend your interview: Please bring any questions you have to the interview and don’t forget your reference form!

6. Provide a police check: You’ll need to apply online to a police service for a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC). We can accept a current police check from within the last six months.

BREATHE! (But no, this is not a step!)

7. Attend training: Our in-person training is four hours in length. You will have the opportunity to meet other mentors and our goal is to ensure you have a good understanding of the role and expectations. You will also learn how to create what we call a “developmental relationship” with your Little (which will come in handy in all walks of life!).

8. Complete a home assessment (for the 1:1 Community Mentoring Program only)We will contact you to schedule a time to visit your home to ensure it is suitable for a child to visit.

THAT’S IT FOR YOU! THE NEXT STEP IS OURS! Our team will conduct a final assessment of your application and be in touch.

Email Us Your Question

Type your question below and we’ll get back to you during our regular business hours.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.