How to be a mentor with hearing loss
Even though I’m only 19 years old, I sometimes find myself in the position of offering support to different people – professionally, voluntary or socially. If you find that you are a good listener or you are a caring person, there are often situations where there are people out there who need someone to talk to.
I often have discussions with my Mum regarding the various charities we work and volunteer with, and how we can best support people. Obviously I’m still young and I’ve not encountered many of life’s experiences, but even our own life experiences can give a different insights into situations, which can be used to help others.
There is a somewhat rewarding feeling about helping somebody, even if you make their day by doing the simplest little things, such as helping an elderly person to cross the road.
I work for a domestic abuse charity as a Marketing Apprentice and often my role involves going to events and talking to people about the work that the charity does. However, in these situations that I need to talk to people, my hearing loss can make it difficult. But there are ways to overcome it!
For example, you can use interpreters, write things down or simply ask the other person to speak slower/clearer, or repeat themselves if you didn’t understand.
I’m also a Girlguiding adult leader in training. For those of you who don’t know, Girlguiding UK is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK. Each area in the UK has their own Guide group, which is run by voluntary Adult Leaders such as myself. Guide meetings are a chance for girls between the age of 10-14 years to socialise, whilst doing activities and challenges, and sometimes even we go to camp. My Mum works for Sense, a Deafblind charity, but also volunteers for Cruse Bereavement Care. Between us, a lot of experience is shared!
Being a mentor or leader is a role that at times is hard work, but the end result is usually quite rewarding. There’s nothing better than teaching a child a new skill, encouraging others to make a change or making a difference to their lives for the better.
But what makes a good mentor?
- Good listener
- Role model
- Willingness to share skills, experiences and knowledge
- Positive attitude
There are many ways which each one of you could become a mentor. If your qualities fit the ones listed above, it may as well be your ideal job! If there is a charity or cause that you really care about, contact them to see if there is any way you could get involved.
Sometimes, it’s the simplest things which make the biggest differences. Why not make one change a day and make someone else’s life better?
Are you a mentor with hearing loss? Share your experiences below, we’d love to hear them.