Today on National Mentoring Day we’re looking back at some of the great mentoring relationships between charities and staff from Lloyds Banking Group that have developed through the Charity Mentoring Programme we launched in 2015.
Chris Tucker, a Senior Manager at Lloyds Banking Group, is one of around 200 staff currently matched to a charity. He shares his experience of mentoring in London:
“Over the last two years then I’ve been a mentor to two charities tackling very different societal issues.”
Chris was initially paired up with Trailblazers, a prison-based charity which mentors young people to help them break the cycle of re-offending.
I’ve worked a range of roles at Lloyds which has given me a range of experience I felt I could bring to charity mentoring. I think we forget how many skills we learn in our professional lives that are useful outside of the office.
“With Trailblazers I was thrown straight in at the deep end. They were trying to fundraise, something which can be quite challenging as for some people it’s a controversial cause. At the same time, they were trying to recruit a new Trustee. I hadn’t dealt with either of these issues before but I still found I was able to use my general corporate experience to help support them.”
When that journey came to an end Chris was re-matched with Choice in Hackney, a community charity who provide advocacy and living support to disabled people in East London.
“At Choice in Hackney I work closely with Caroline Nelson, the Chief Executive, acting like a sounding board. Being a Chief Executive can be a lonely position with a lot of responsibility, so she uses me to bounce ideas off and offer a different perspective on whatever she’s working on. My experience at Lloyds in areas like risk management, fundraising and governance has been really useful for my work with Caroline.”
Mentoring seemed like an ideal fit. It was an opportunity contribute in a way that felt deeper than a one-off volunteering project, a way to make a sustained contribution to an organisation
Working as a mentor Chris has found that often change isn’t about instant impact and quick fixes but is about offering specific, longer lasting support.
“I initially signed up because I wanted to do something that makes a difference in the community but also challenge myself too. Mentoring seemed like an ideal fit. It was an opportunity contribute in a way that felt deeper than a one-off volunteering project, a way to make a sustained contribution to an organisation and to learn something new in the process.
“I’ve worked a range of roles at Lloyds which has given me a range of experience I felt I could bring to charity mentoring. I think we forget how many skills we learn in our professional lives that are useful outside of the office. You end up making jokes about the corporate language and tools we use, things like ‘best practice’ and ‘slide decks’ but the skills you learn in that environment are really in demand, especially in small charities.”
Using these skills Chris has been able to both have a positive impact on the charities he’s worked with but also gained a lot himself from his time as a mentor.
“For me personally the experience has been really rewarding. I’ve learnt a lot from the charities and I feel they’ve appreciated my contribution. Choice in Hackney recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and as part of the celebrations I was presented with a big thank you certificate for the work I’d done. I really wasn’t expecting it – I feel like our work together has just started to get going and that I don’t deserve it yet, but it’s great to know they feel my support has been helpful.
“If anyone was thinking about becoming a Charity Mentor my response would be do it. As a LBG employee there’s lots of opportunities to volunteer and support great causes but I think mentoring is definitely one of the best.”
You can find more inspiring stories about our mentoring programme here.
If your charity is funded by the Foundation and would like a mentor contact your Grant Manager for more information.