Michael’s Journey – From JET’s participant to Wisegroup mentor

With last weeks launch of the Relational Mentoring service in Scotland, we wanted the opportunity to show not only the importance of the service, but the incredible work our mentors do. Our mentors are compassionate, understanding and flexible, and are able to provide an individualised and holistic approach to navigating those tricky barriers in people lives. A reason for this is the training and the journeys our mentors have been on. Michael, a mentor on the relational mentoring service, has had experience both working for and being a participant of Wisegroup services. He understands first hand the barriers he faced, but also the type of support he needs to be able to provide. We are honoured to have him as part of the service! 
Read Michael’s story below!

“I was initially referred to JETS by the Job Centre around June 2022 (after their sixth time of trying over 2 years….) I had spoken to several organisations for various purposes after being sacked from my job of 12 years, very unexpectedly & facing accusations of alleged bullying, by my former employer. I had no idea how to process these events and my mental health & wellbeing started to suffer dramatically.

Almost 4 years later and with continuing mental health depreciation (especially after a 6-month stint of employment at a truly awful employer) I was very close to my limit of tolerance of ‘Life’ and started to have very negative feelings indeed. I had no idea where to go, or how to deal with how I felt. I was applying for jobs, speaking to friends & family, helplines, experts, counsellors whilst still in regular contact with my GP & other mental health support organisations. Although some helped alleviate immediate anxiety & stress – none truly understood, helped my comprehension of events, could re-ignite my self-confidence, or assist in realising my potential again.

Enter (my now personal hero) Ann at the Wisegroup. Right from our initial call it was clear that Ann, and also the Wisegroup, were offering a completely different service and experience to all other people & organisations I had interacted with in the previous 4 years. I felt understood, listened to, appreciated (for who I was), and deeply empathised with. Whatever I needed, it was OK. I was allowed to do it with large degree of freedom and in my own way – which was imperative to me. I knew myself & my circumstances best and didn’t want to be ‘told’ or ‘instructed’.

Ann expertly mentored me through so many issues that I faced – always compassionate & always understanding. Once I had achieved a general improvement in mindset, Ann helped me dust off my CV, make some aesthetic changes and most importantly…..sparked my interest in the Wise Group itself. It only took a couple of weeks and speaking to another member of staff, Laura Lavelle, where it became apparent that this wasn’t a Wise Group co-incidence, this was a Wise Group culture.

Their values were always clearly on display and Ann absolutely embodied those values. I knew from that moment, it’s where I wanted my future to be, and started applying for various posts with my advisor’s keen assistance…….

11 months (a few unsuccessful interviews, lots of encouragement & some positive feedback) later…….and I am ridiculously & incredibly proud (and emotional as I write) that I call myself a Mentor at The Wisegroup – about to embark on a tremendously exciting new project, with other amazing individuals, aimed at empowering those need to raise themselves out of fuel poverty + so much more. Categorically, this would not have happened without the Wisegroup & more importantly, Ann Nye, former JETS advisor extraordinaire!”