How to become a mentor

Andy Stevens / 09 October 2015

Help others benefit from your experience and give back to your community by volunteering to become a mentor. Read our guide to find out how to get started.

Anyone who has reached the age of 50 is likely to have some considerable insights about life to share. Mentoring is a great way of offering other people the benefit of this experience.

From offering advice to new entrepreneurs to helping disadvantaged young people make a start in life, there are many opportunities for you to help.

Not sure you could become a mentor? Read about other ways to help charities without donating money.

Here are some of your options:

1. Business mentoring

Advice from someone who has worked in a particular industry or set up their own company can be invaluable to a new business.

There are a number of organisations which can help match your skills and experience to the appropriate enterprises. is a service which allows businesses to look for local mentors with relevant experience. It also offers advice on how to become a mentor, and gives details of training organisations – you are likely to need some formal training before you can link up with a company.

PRIME, the Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise, is an organisation which encourages the over-50s to set up in business.

2. Social mentoring

Some charities offer the chance to mentor people who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, for example, or who are older and live on their own.

CSV is a volunteering and social action charity: it has a Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP) aimed at encouraging the over-50s to give up some of their time to share their skills, knowledge and experience.

CSV also has a mentoring and befriending programme, which could involve helping school children with reading or maths, or giving advice to offenders when they leave prison.

Find out about donating money to charity through your payroll.

3. Other mentoring projects

TimeBank is another volunteering charity which has partnerships with a number of projects to supply mentors.

These include Talking Together, a project helping long-term UK residents learn English in the midlands; Carers Together, which offers support to carers in person or online; and Shoulder to Shoulder, a project aimed at providing guidance and support to ex-services personnel who are suffering from mental health problems.

TimeBank provides training to its volunteer mentors before they are assigned to projects.

The charity can also help you find projects to volunteer for based on where you live.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.