MVP Mentoring

Our mentees say:

‘..amazing at getting me to step back and look at the situation again to enable me to see another avenue when I hit dead ends’

It’s made me more confident and made me see the good I’m doing that I tend to forget’

It’s just wonderful having that guidance and sounding board’

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a dynamic, supportive relationship between two individuals which exists to develop the mentee either within their current role or for the future.  Mentors:

  • Help mentees manage their learning and development and act as a gateway to other people and knowledge.
  • Support mentees to consider opportunities and challenges and act as a sounding board when mentees have decisions to make,
  • Ask probing questions to identify personal strengths and weaknesses and help mentees believe in themselves and boost confidence,
  • Talk about the big picture and provide guidance that mentees may otherwise not consider, provide clarity and answer questions, and share personal stories and learning,

More information is available in the NHS England publication A Guide to Mentoring.

What is the difference between a mentor and a coach?

Coaches are available via NHS England – these are trained to help you address specific issues in a set time frame. They are facilitative in approach and will not usually have (or use) any specialist knowledge or experience of MVPs or the maternity world.  Mentors give help, ideas, suggestions and advice based on their own specific experience of the role and/or organisation.  Mentoring differs from coaching in that it takes a holistic view of the mentee, is an on-going relationship and the agenda is usually set by the mentee with the mentor providing support and guidance. 

Who are the mentors?

All our mentors have experience of chairing a Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) or equivalent role. Many also have experience of representing service users and/or MVPs at regional or national level.  All have undertaken the NHS England mentoring training, and can access professional development and peer support via the mentoring network.  We have 20 mentors in total, many from ethnic minority backgrounds.

How does mentoring work?

Once your request for mentoring has been accepted and you have told us your needs and preferences, you will be offered a mentor or when possible a choice of two.  There will be an initial discussion between the mentor and the mentee to decide whether you want to work together and agree the ‘contract’. Sessions with your mentor will normally be about an hour long. These will usually be on the phone or via video conference.   The initial agreement will usually be for 4 sessions, which can be altered later if desired. We can also offer one-off calls with a mentor to provide support with a particular issue. This may develop into a longer term relationship by agreement.  

How do I get a mentor?

If you feel you or someone you know could benefit from this, please email our mentor coordinator.  If you have an urgent need for support, please email Hannah our MVP support director initially.   To maximise sharing of experience, people are generally being offered mentors from another region.

Becoming an MVP Mentor

We hope to train another cohort of mentors some time in 2021.  To qualify as a mentor you will need to attend a one-day NHS England Mentor Development workshop. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or would like to know more about what is involved, please email mentors@nationalmaternityvoices.org.uk