Bedford Giving Reaches Mentor Milestone

Bedford Academy

Bedford Giving’s Career Mentoring Programme has reached a major milestone, as the first cohort of mentors and mentees have met for the first time at Bedford Academy, which was a resounding success.

The volunteer mentors, who have all undergone training, come from the local community from a range of different professions, backgrounds and careers, who have given up their time to help make a difference to the lives of young people. Nearly 50 mentors have now been trained and the second group will be meeting students from Kempston Academy this week.


Mentors will spend a year working with their allocated student to help raise aspirations, expand horizons, introduce students to the world of work, help tackle any issues holding them back and set realistic goals for education or work.

The mentoring programme is based on the East London Business Alliance (ELBA) Mentoring Works programme, with the aim of increasing employability prospects for the young people.

Bedford Giving Interim Director Sam Baker said: “Before they met, there was an air of nervous anticipation in the room, not just from the young mentees, but also from the mentors, many of whom hadn’t set foot in a school since the day they left.

“But minutes after they met the room was buzzing with conversation. Seeing the young people animatedly discussing their futures was utterly heartwarming.

“We have had an overwhelmingly positive response about the quality of their interactions from both the mentors and the students.

“Bedford Giving’s ethos is everyone has something to give – whether it is time, skills, funds, knowledge or opportunities. The willingness of the school to engage with the project and to accommodate the sessions, the generosity of the mentors in giving up their time and commitment, and the extensive co-ordination of 4YP goes to the very essence of the Bedford Giving movement.”

Alex Parrott, Head of Year 10 at Bedford Academy (BA), added: “We’re so pleased our students are involved in the programme. The look on their faces was all the feedback I needed. They were beaming, and all that I’ve spoken to about it were really positive about the session.


“Having these relationships with the mentors from the Bedford community to help our pupils to reach their full potential, really chimes with the BA Way of being community minded, driven and aspirational.”


Bedford Giving is a collaboration bringing together passionate funders, businesses and residents to help create a brighter future for young people in Bedford.


If anyone is interested in becoming a mentor for the next intake in 2024, or you want to find out further information about Bedford Giving visit  


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