500 mentors was launched at great speed, with the support of Leeds City Council, to help entrepreneurs and leaders (of any sector) in COVID-19 times.
You can join the site free with this link (sign up page). To log in to the account follow this link - you just need to complete your profile, say if you want to mentor others or be mentored and then make connections. More details on all this below.
Initially with a Yorkshire focus, Leeds CC have agreed you can be from anywhere in the UK.
Who can mentor?
Senior people coming up to retirement or recently retired – or still working with spare time. We suggest you offer mentees a free 45-minute Zoom session once a week – but agree what works with your mentee.
Who can be a mentee?
Any entrepreneur or business leader or leader from public/voluntary sectors who could do with someone to talk to and/or practical help. We suggest you have a free 45-minute Zoom session once a week but agree what works with your mentor. Ideas as to why you might want a mentor here.
What do I do?
- Sign up and create a profile (tips in this blog – remember the site works on AI, so think about keywords to make the matching process easy for everyone)
- The ways to find each other are
- Type in keywords if you are looking for specific help - you will get suggested connections
- Search people in the community and see what they are offering
- If someone looks a good fit, click on the Request Connection button and explain what help you are looking for. The mentor can then accept or reject – with a personal message in both cases. This also works the other way around. A mentor can also request a connection from a mentee to say I think I can help you with ‘X’.
- Have an initial online chat with each other, agree if you want to carry on – and arrange a meeting if you do via the portal
- Set up online meetings
- Agree actions and dates
- The site will prompt you to complete your actions
There is no limit to how many people you approach or help.
Weekly calls for mentors
There is a free Zoom call that mentors can join on Wednesdays at 2.30 pm. Email email@example.com if you would like to join this.
Tips on being a mentor
Thanks to Gareth Healey for tips on being a mentor in COVID-19 times
We have amazing mentors signed up already – do ask for their help.
Watch the short video below by Victoria Tomlinson to explain the 500 mentors campaign – and tips for mentors and mentees when writing your profiles or asking for help.
We welcome feedback. This campaign and site were launched at incredible speed – days! We are still refining and tweaking it all to make it easy for you.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help, feedback or ideas.
And finally thanks to so many people for supporting this campaign. Of course, Leeds City Council, also NorthInvest, RSM, Tech Mentors: Yorkshire. And the dozens of networks and business organisations lending their support to the campaign. Thank you – you are all making a difference.