Background and objectives
Having previously worked for the Royal Borough of Greenwich and London Borough of Lewisham to design and support traditional mentoring programmes, we were delighted to be asked by Royal Borough of Greenwich to help them create and launch a Reciprocal Mentoring Programme to support the social work workforce.
The aim of the reciprocal mentoring programme was to bring global majority social workers together with senior leaders in a supportive mentoring relationship, with the aim of:
• Creating a confidential dialogue on racial inequality and bias.
• Help mentees gain a greater understanding of global majority experiences.
• Improve inclusion advocacy.
• Inspire the next generation of global majority social workers and support career development.
The programme also needed to become sustainable through internal delivery in the future.
We worked with the project team from the Royal Borough of Greenwich to design a programme of support.
• Helping with design of internal communication to recruit participants.
• Designing and delivering workshops for
o mentors from a global majority background
o mentees from a variety of backgrounds
• Designing a mid-programme support workshop to give mentors a chance to share experiences from their mentoring relationships so far.
• Designing an end of programme workshop to help evaluate the programme and gather learning and suggestions from both mentors and mentees, to take forward to a new cohort next year.
• In parallel with this, we worked with the project team at the Royal Borough of Greenwich who were also taking on the facilitator role for future workshops and programmes.
o We ran a “train the facilitator” workshop to build confidence in facilitating conversations around race and racial awareness.
• Finally, we produced a video as an ongoing resource for all mentors, mentees and facilitators to use as a refresher, to help them get the most from their mentoring relationships
We worked with 15 mentors and 9 mentees overall, with 9 relationships already established.
The workshops helped to raise awareness of key issues and develop confidence in the mentors and mentees to open up conversations around race and racial awareness.
Feedback from participants has included:
“The training has given me a different perspective to racism and built my confidence as to address racial issues”.
“Very useful, I now feel more passionate about the project”.
“Dispelled my queries and I am left with a healthy level of discomfort”.
Emma Rodriguez, Professional Educator, from the Royal Borough of Greenwich project team said:
“Working with Focal Point has been a pleasure. They have been on hand to support as and when we needed and have been very supportive of the Reciprocal Mentoring Project. Observing their workshops with the Mentors and Mentees was very insightful and developed my knowledge of what reciprocal mentoring is, whilst providing a safe space to have conversations about race. Then attending the ‘Train the Facilitator’ workshop increased my confidence to deliver future workshops around this topic”.