Jenny McQuilliam: Reflections on Level 3 Award in Mentoring Practice


In this blog Jenny shares her training in Mentoring journey, as someone with no previous experience in this area, but who saw it as an opportunity not to be missed. 

I joined Our Place in May 2021, currently on a Kickstart contract – a scheme run by the Department for Work and Pensions that provides funding to create new jobs for 16-24 year olds. My role is a Digital Content Creator, which involves creating and designing social media posts, helping amplify awareness for our services. Part of the Kickstart program is to learn new skills to equip me for my career development. This has been a huge support for me, as Kelly offered all the fantastic training opportunities Our Place has, letting me sign on to any that I had an interest in. 

As soon as I read the summary for the Level 3 Award in Mentoring Practice, I knew I had to get involved. Firstly, I hugely value making a positive difference, in whatever ways I can. Mentoring Training contains a variety of different, important lessons in sincerely understanding what it means to be a good communicator and listener, to be openminded, inclusive and empathetic. These are qualities important for any person and the course allowed me to reflect on who I am, and how I could grow. 

Despite my joy of writing, I was often left without the language I needed to express difficult experiences and emotions – such as grief, trauma and anxiety. These challenges can make up our foreground and background, specific to our selves, yet affecting a huge number of people, children and adults. Mentoring sessions helped me to understand that we can’t shy away from these realisations. Building on a foundation of trust and care, mentors offer a valuable resource, enabling mentees to understand themselves and their values, to feel assured in addressing the hardships they face. We have to work together to build a community that understands the importance of mental health, and completing the Level 3 Award in Mentoring Practice has provided me with the tools to contribute to that. 

Sessions covered many different subjects, such as the history and theories behind mentoring; session plans and activities for different types of mentees; how to effectively follow Safeguarding procedures. Getting to know the other learners was a privilege. Group activities and discussions provided a great platform to learn other experiences and perspectives in the world of teaching, social care, and many different areas of work and life. I did feel out of my comfort zone at times, especially as I don’t have experience in these areas, but I never felt out of place. The environment the trainers create is inclusive and inviting; whether you’re developing existing skills, or jumping into the world of mentoring as a complete beginner (like me), you will be welcomed and appreciated. 

Though I’m still figuring out the path I want to take, I know that I want to continue work in the third sector and be part of organisations, such as Our Place, that strive to make positive change. Gaining a Level 3 Award in Mentoring Practice will undoubtedly be a valuable part of my skillset, with knowledge that benefits me in both a professional and personal capacity. 


Would you like a Level 3 Award in Mentoring Practice? We’ve got new dates booked for January! The course will be online and spaces are limited – email for a registration form. Get in touch if you have any questions, more details can be found on our website