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We’re delighted that you are joining us as a Mentor and helping to provide career support to those whose lives have been unfortunately disrupted.

With a minimum commitment of 3 x 1-hour sessions over three months, your generously donated time will provide your Mentee an invaluable bridge toward a brighter future.

Start a Session


Since 2020, London has experienced a large rise in displaced people from over 20 nationalities, many highly skilled and with right to work, but lacking the network or local knowledge to find meaningful employment. Despite many sectors requiring workers urgently, barriers to employment are blocking growth or contributing to the shadow economy.

Many people are also suffering in our current cost of living crisis, following pandemic disruption, forced to make tough choices about where to live and how to survive – a form of home-grown displacement.

The Rotary Club London worked with the non-profit Karmabank to develop a pilot professional mentorship scheme that connects the expertise and experience of Rotarians with qualified refugees, asylum seekers, and skilled workers using their foodbanks. LIFT offers career guidance, experience and networking to displaced, vulnerable and marginalised people, and provides an economic benefit to our local economy.


    • Contribute professional experience and a fresh perspective to mentees seeking employment.

    • Help mentee develop strategies to navigate the unique challenges they may be facing.

    • Provide a welcome face to aspiring and vulnerable mentees coping in tough conditions.

    • Offer a safe space and non-judgmental active listening for vulnerable mentees to feel welcome.

    • Provide options. Mentoring isn’t about being right; it is about bringing your experience and thoughts to a situation and allowing the mentee to make as informed a decision as they can. It’s about broadening their range of options for thinking and behaving, and supporting them as they work towards finding their own solutions.


    • Coach, teach or train mentees.

    • Hold mentees accountable for performance targets.

    • Intervene on a mentee’s behalf in a difficult situation.



      1. Mentors and Mentees provide basic information about themselves via our Google Form

      1. We match mentors with mentees.

      1. Mentors make an offer to a mentee, detailing their availability and the format for the mentorship.

      1. Mentors and mentees agree dates and times. Mentors arrange and share a suitable platform link.

      1. THE SESSIONS:  You will speak to your mentee across 2 x 1-hour virtual sessions over Zoom,  Teams. If you both decide it’s worthwhile extending the relationship beyond that, that’s fantastic but there’s absolutely no expectation to do so. In our experience, the value gained from 2 hour-long sessions can be huge! Please just check that your mentee can access the chosen platform and be sure to record, upload and share the sessions here.

    1. Mentors and mentees provide each other with feedback, and share any results with the assigned LIFT coordinator (online feedback form here).


    • ‘Give back’ knowledge and share experiences with people at a critical time in their lives

    • Gain an insight into the struggles faced by skilled refugees and others across different sectors

    • Reinforce active listening skills and practice non-judgmental dialogue


    • A sounding board offering support and advice on their future plans, aspirations and career pathways

    • Increased confidence in communicating with local experienced people

    • Practice in airing challenging issues and being heard

• Learning about the culture and working practices of different organisations and sectors in the UK



Introduce checkpoints or signposts during the meetings. Discuss the purpose and boundaries of the relationship up front and summarise what’s been covered each time.

Listen carefully and check with mentees that you have understood before you respond. As a rule of thumb, they should be talking at least as much as you.

Your mentee may find it difficult to open up at first.  Their English will not be as good as it may seem. Encourage them kindly to articulate issues, and to tell you when they don’t understand.

If they get stuck, encourage them to look at a situation or challenge from a different perspective. This may help them to reframe the problem and find alternative solutions.

Be compassionate but also candid. Don’t skirt issues or refuse to answer tricky questions. Say what you think they need to hear, not what you think they might want to hear.

Engage with them on specific issues and challenges they have right now, whilst at the same time encouraging them to see the bigger picture, and to look further forward in their careers.

If you have an emotional response to a particular issue or to the individual themselves, raise what you are experiencing with them and discuss it.

When the time comes, signal the end of the relationship and make a summary of what was achieved. if it feels right, you can discuss the option to continue beyond the three sessions.

And last, but by no means least, enjoy the relationship. There is so much potential to share and learn here. This is not about having set objectives or outcomes. It’s not a test of either party’s wisdom or skill. It is an exploration.  Show up with energy and enthusiasm and see where it takes you. (Credit: ivyhouse FLP)