Become A Mentor
Being a 'Big' is simple all you have to do is be a friend to one of our fun-loving kids. You and your Little can do things that you already enjoy doing, such as:
- Playing sports
- Walking on the beach
- Playing board games
- Watching a movie and throwing popcorn (ok maybe not the last bit!)
Mentoring sessions are a fun, relaxed time when young people and their mentors hang out and build a friendship. The programme is structured in a way that allows mentoring to begin as early as age 6 and can continue right through until the young person is aged 18.
Mentoring relationships are most effective when they last a long time and when regular contact is made.
To be a mentor you need to:
- Volunteer for 1 – 3 hours per week
- Commit to the mentoring for at least 12 months
- Be reliable and consistent
- Child focussed
- Be willing to be supervised
- Be over 18
For many young people, simply having a mentor turn up week after week is so important, as this provides a stable relationship, helps them to feel valued and connects them to other people and to the community around them. It is more fun than you realise and is flexible enough to fit your schedule.
With over 100 years of history – Big Brothers Big Sisters is a reputable and highly professional mentoring programme. All volunteers are interviewed, screened and trained before being matched. Once matched they are supported by a Mentoring Coordinator (Kairuruku). Mentors commit to having regular accountability with their Coordinator and will be supported by them throughout the mentoring relationship.
The Process to Apply:
Attend an Information Session – find out when they are by emailing (please add link here)
Apply – complete an application form and return it to us by post or email.
Background check – child safety is our priority so we will check your records to be sure that you are a good fit for our programme.
Referees – you need to provide us with three people who we can talk to about your ability to be a mentor.
Interview – a Mentoring Coordinator (Kairuruku) will invite you to participate in an in-person interview.
Training / Orientation – prior to being matched you will need to attend one of our mentor training sessions.
Matching – we will review the young people in your area who need a Big and find the best fit for you. Depending on the kind of young person you’d like to mentor, matching may take some time. Making the right match is important to our commitment to form lasting relationships.
Once matched, Bigs start to develop friendships with their Littles. It’s as simple as spending time together.
Takes place on site at a local partner school, often in the library, staff room, interview room or out in the playground. Common activities are board games, baking, lego, sports and crafts. School based mentoring is ideal for people who like the set routine and structure of a school setting and prefer to mentor during school hours. Typically, it is the same time each week and only during term time but it is always for only 1 hour each week. It’s common for mentoring matches to start in school and to later extend into community-based mentoring. This happens only if the mentor, child and parent/caregiver want this to occur.
Is flexible and can fit your busy schedule. Half of our community based matches meet over the weekend and the other in the early evening of a weekday, after school. Bigs and Littles hang out in the community, at parks, libraries, the beach, cafés or other free facilities. Playing sports, going to local events, movies, walks, bike rides and more. What you do is up to you and the young person you are matched with! It’s all about spending one-to-one time together doing things you both enjoy from 1 to 3 hours once a week.
Over the course of a year, our matches meet once a week building trust and friendship. All the time, creating building blocks for a brighter future for that young person.
Because the one to one aspect of the programme is so important the mentor concentrates on developing a friendship with the child they are matched with rather than with other family members. This can help the young person feel special and learn to trust the mentor. The chances of the relationship succeeding will then be much greater. The mentor’s role is as a friend and not a parent, counsellor, tutor, chauffeur, or baby-sitter.
How we support you
Each match is supported by a Mentor Coordinator (Kairuruku) who check in regularly with volunteers, children and parents. They are always available to answer questions, offer support, a listening ear and provide valuable feedback on the match.We provide heaps of resources and ideas for sessions and what’s going on in your local community on our mentor app and Pinterest page.We hold regular events and opportunities to meet other matches and mentors. Plus, through the generosity of our local partners we can offer heavily discounted entry into many local attractions or discounted tickets for matches to enjoy.
We endeavour to provide the framework for positive, supported, enduring friendships that change the lives of all the people involved.
A study for Big Brothers Big Sisters found that kids matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister:
✓ are more confident
✓ are more likely to steer clear of drugs and alcohol
✓ do better in school
✓ get along better with their family and friends
✓ feel better about themselves*
If you are thinking about becoming a mentor and would like take the next step or just want to learn more about what we do come along to one of our info sessions: