She made me believe I could pursue my dream career

City Opportunities Mentoring is a TimeBank project which matches care leavers with City Workers to support them with tasks such as writing job applications, practising interview skills, networking, job shadowing or gaining work experience.

Starting in September 2013, the project has matched 13 mentors and young people who meet for around five hours a month over six months.

One of the earliest matches was between Gurleen Virk, a final year law student at London SouthBank University and Saghar Roya, a solicitor working near Liverpool Street. Saghar took up the offer of a mentor after attending a five day work skills programme at the university. That gave her a taste of City life and she decided that she'd benefit from the help of a mentor to support her in her ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer on graduating.

Saghar had volunteered previously and now she had more time on her hands, was keen to offer support in a way that would use both her professional and personal skills.

Gurleen and Saghar have been meeting for several months now and are both enjoying the mentoring experience. Saghar has been supporting Gurleen with her college work, including help to draft a revision timetable and feedback on her final year dissertation.

In future they plan to focus on finding Gurleen a work placement and Saghar will help her to research companies, polish up her CV and practise interview skills. Gurleen says Saghar is a very ‘determined and motivating’ mentor whom she saw as a role model and who made her believe that it was possible to aim for her dream career. She says Saghar is very approachable and always encourages her to ask questions and be in contact whenever she needs support.

Saghar is having an equally positive experience, saying that Gurleen is ‘lovely to work with’.

If you would be interested in becoming a mentor on City Opportunities or you are keen to refer a young person to the project, I would love to hear from you! Please contact me at Rachel@timebank.org.uk or on 020 3111 0730.

And if you would like to know more about our City Opportunities mentoring project, take a look here