Mentoring through the time of Covid19
What a year 2021 turned out to be for everyone across Victoria and both the University Mentoring and Branch Out Mentoring participants have not been spared from the impacts of Covid 19 and lockdown restrictions.
At Youthrive we have been blown away by the ability of participants to adjust and adapt in ways which have enabled them to continue their mentoring journeys which traditionally would have occurred face to face any other year. Mentors and Mentees have been using emails, Facebook messenger, Zoom, text messaging and the good old phone call to stay in touch during extended periods where lockdown restrictions have meant meeting in person has not been possible. Some have shared that having Zoom as an option has meant they have been able to have more contact than they otherwise may have considering they would have been traveling significant distances or managing clashing timetables.
Participants have been able to share tips and tricks for surviving in a new online learning world as well as managing the many other challenges extended lockdowns have created for people. One participant commented that while they would have preferred face to face contact, that they have “found it incredibly helpful to have someone there that I know I can rely on and ask for help if I encounter any hurdles and I think this has done wonders for my mental health”.
Across the programs most participants have expressed their disappointment that more face to face meetings couldn’t occur this year and a desire to try and fit some in when restrictions allow.