Charity Mentoring

Our flagship Enhance Charity Mentoring Programme offers all Foundation funded charities the opportunity to be matched with a Scotland based colleague mentor from our sole funder, Lloyds Banking Group, and receive individual, tailored business support. 

It’s a fantastic opportunity for charities to draw on the skills and experience of a business professional, or simply use them as a sounding board for ideas.

We aim to match charities with a colleague mentor local to them so there is a better understanding of the issues faced in that area, however, we also offer remote mentoring where charities are matched to a mentor elsewhere in Scotland, holding meetings by phone, Skype, FaceTime or any other method that works for them.

Colleague mentors from our sole funder, Lloyds Banking Group offer regular, ongoing support once a month, for around 1-1.5 hours per session and mentoring relationships can be short-term or long-term depending on each charity’s requirements.

We take huge pride in creating meaningful matches – matches with long-term prospects, tailored to match the skills of a colleague mentor with the skills that a charity requires support with.

Mentoring means different things to different people, but essentially, it’s someone who will listen and can provide support, direction, advice and motivation – everything that helps build success.

Mentoring Case Study: Crossroads

Our flagship Enhance Charity Mentoring programme has been running since December 2017, offering Foundation funded charities the opportunity to be matched with a colleague mentor from our sole funder, Lloyds Banking Group. We take huge pride in creating meaningful matches - matches with long-term prospects, tailored to ensure colleague skill sets can help to address charity skill gaps.

Gorbals based charity Crossroads Youth and Community Association ("Crossroads") aims to promote and facilitate integration and help strengthen community cohesion and resilience. They registered with our programme in the hope that they could be matched to a mentor. In November 2018, they were matched by the Foundation to Business Analyst, Stephen Louch, to provide both practical and moral support for their finance officer and help strengthen their financial reporting systems.

Joe McConnell, Charity Manager at Crossroad told us, "Stephen's first engagement with us was at our AGM. This is not your average dry protocol driven affair and can often be an emotional experience where local people share their stories of what brought them into contact with Crossroads and how this has changed or supported them. It was clear from Stephen's reaction and interaction during this event that we had met someone who cared about people and had a drive to support. We hit it off straight away!"

Stephen replied, "I grew up in a household where we helped others, my parents have been foster carers for thirty years. I heard about Bank of Scotland Foundation's mentoring programme and after ten years in Group Change and Transformation, I felt I had a lot I could offer in helping with planning and problem solving.

"As a well-established charity Crossroads have numerous forms of income, many of which have restrictions in how they are used, so require to be tracked separately. I helped them build a structure where we combined various spreadsheets into one that auto pulls figures from tabs within it. This way they can view a financial summary slide to give the overall picture at any time, saving three days of work per month."

After a year of mentoring, Crossroads asked Stephen to join their Board as Treasurer. "Stephen injected a problem-solving attitude when he joined our Board" Joe pointed out. "He has a clearsighted and objective approach to issues and is able to ask the hard questions which can be a weak point of community-based board teams. The strengthening of financial reporting processes has helped enormously and is exactly what we set out to achieve."

Stephen has been really inspired by the Crossroads team, from the hard work they do to help others, their drive to do their jobs as best they can and the mix of people on the Board who all bring their own strengths and viewpoints.

"When I am in their centre, The Barn, and I see people using the services, happy, warm and always with food on offer, it shows how even small things can make a massive difference to those in need" he says. "Even hearing members of the community stand up at AGMs and talk about what being involved with Crossroads does for them is tremendously inspiring and shows the power we have to help those around us."