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Mentoring for deaf young people

Photo: Young person texting on their phone.

Get one-to-one support, inspiration and advice with our mentoring service for deaf young people

Our remote mentoring service connects deaf young people, aged 14 to 18, with a mentor who is a positive deaf role model. Having a mentor can help a deaf young person to overcome challenges and inspire them to reach their potential. Our mentors will be able to draw on their own experiences to offer personalised support for their mentee.

How our mentoring service works

Each young person will be matched with their own deaf mentor. They’ll be able to chat with their mentor to get support and guidance on a wide range of topics, such as:

  • emotional health and wellbeing
  • deaf identity
  • studying and revision
  • further education
  • careers.

They’ll be able to chat through text messages or by pre-recorded video messages using British Sign Language (BSL) or speech. All a young person needs is access to a phone, tablet, laptop or computer with an internet connection.

When they are matched with their mentor, they’ll be able to chat with them on the mentoring platform using their preferred communication method. Most mentees spend about an hour a week messaging their mentor, but messages can be fitted in and around their own schedules. Our mentors have their own jobs or may be studying full-time, but they will aim to reply within three days.

All conversations between mentors and their mentee take place on our mentoring platform and are moderated by National Deaf Children's Society service coordinators. At the moment, we don’t offer live mentoring sessions during the service - all messages go through the platform first so they can be checked, this keeps everyone safe.

How having a mentor can help a deaf young person

There are many great benefits to having a mentor, these include:

  • developing coping skills in dealing with setbacks and challenges
  • building a sense of belonging and feeling understood
  • understanding and accessing support networks
  • preventing feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • practising and developing communication skills.

How long the mentoring lasts

Young people can choose how long they’d like to be mentored for, but we’d recommend a minimum of 8 weeks to get the most from the project. We hope to open applications for the project during summer 2022, keep an eye on this page for new dates coming up!

Before being matched with a mentor, young people will be invited to a welcome session. These will be run by National Deaf Children's Society service coordinators. Young people will get to learn more about mentoring and how they can access the online mentoring platform.

We run two welcome sessions before each round. You and your child will only need to attend one session. When applying, please add the date and time to your diary to ensure you will both be able to attend.

About our mentors

Our mentors are National Deaf Children’s Society volunteers who are deaf and aged 18 and over.

All of our mentors complete mentoring and safeguarding training and have an enhanced security check, either DBS or PVG.

Young people, aged 18 and over, who are mentees will also be offered the option to apply to become a mentor after they have finished their own programme.

Although our mentors will support young people with advice and guidance, they are not experts or trained counsellors.

Apply now

Both forms must be completed for a young person to be considered for a place. 

Applications are now closed. Please get in touch with [email protected] to register your interest for the next round.

Places for our mentoring service are limited. Completing an application form or registering your interest doesn’t guarantee you a place.

Work with a deaf young person?

We welcome referrals from professionals and teachers working with deaf young people.

If you work with a deaf young person(s) that you feel would benefit from our mentoring service, please complete our referral form and a member of the team will get in touch. Alternatively, you can share this page directly with the young person(s) and their parent.