Charity Mentors has been operating across East Sussex since late 2016, initially in an informal capacity supported by the CVS organisations across the county. We added significantly to our expert team of volunteer mentors in 2018/19 and became a CIO in November 2019.
The idea and initial operating model for Charity Mentors in Sussex came from a similar organisation based in Oxford, Charity Mentors Oxfordshire. And in 2020, we extended our geography to West Sussex so that we now cover the whole county.
A voluntary and free scheme, mentoring for leaders in the Third Sector is provided by volunteer senior managers and specialists. This is a FREE service to charities, community groups and not-for-profit concerns across Sussex.
Ian Noble is the project co-ordinator and has the role of recruiting new mentors and mentees, and importantly finding the ‘best fit’ mentor to the proposed mentee.
Mentors are provided with back up and support on a regular basis.
So, who would benefit as a mentee from the scheme?
Well, pretty much anyone who has a leadership role within a charity, community group or not-for-profit business, and who has either a specific issue or general strategic directional issue that they’d welcome support with.
A mentor will encourage and help a mentee to think through issues and assist them to come to their own solutions and conclusions. The scheme has an extensive team of experienced mentors, most of whom have held senior roles within their chosen field.
Charity mentors offers short-term strategic support usually between a three and four-month term. It costs nothing other than a commitment and energy levels from the mentee.
Here’s some areas where mentors have helped previously
- producing fundraising plans
- identifying resource requirement
- assisting with job descriptions
- working through trustee issues
- guiding the production of strategic plans and board presentations
- focusing managers on short-term priorities
- working through financial structures and reporting issues
- helping to set priorities in legal disputes
…and generally supporting and encouraging managers in clarifying options and articulating decisions.
Put simply, there’s not a lot they haven’t done!