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Become a mentor

Arts Emergency mentors work with young people interested in the arts and humanities.

Mentor registration for 2023-24 has now closed.To be first to hear when registration re-opens for 2024-25, and to help young people with advice and resources on an ad hoc basis in the meantime, join the Network today.

If you need to get in touch with the mentoring team about an application, please email

Video edited by Lilla Nyeki

Change lives

Mentoring has the power to change lives. Mentor pairs meet for an hour every month to decide on goals for the year and then work towards achieving them. Mentees gain confidence and connections that help them to plan their next steps and succeed on their chosen path.

Our mentor volunteers are reliable, passionate and warm. Most mentors have studied an arts or humanities subject at university or have worked in the creative industries for over four years. We match mentor pairs based on their shared interests and geographical location.

A mentor stands with his arm around his mentee's shoulder
Mentee Nade with her mentor Aaron, 2020. Photo: Lilla Nyeki.

Being a mentor

Arts Emergency mentors work voluntarily with a young person over the course of a year, helping them to gain confidence, connections and the advice they need to succeed in their chosen subject/industry. With the support of Arts Emergency and our network, mentoring pairs decide on a number of goals for the year and then work towards achieving them.

Time commitment

Mentor pairs meet once a month for about an hour. Traditionally these meetings happen face to face. Because of coronavirus and social distancing, meetings may need to take place by phone or video chat. We will review guidance for this in the mentor training session.

In between sessions you may find you communicate by email. Mentoring can be flexible around your commitments. During busy periods e.g. exams, you may not meet every month but mentor pairs tend to make up for it the following month.

Mentor traits

Our mentors are all different, which is what we love. We’re especially keen to hear from people who may have shared experience with our mentees, such as people who are Black, Asian or from a minoritised ethnic group, LGTBQIA+ people, disabled people and those who have identified as working class.

Mentors should be:

  • proactive communicators
  • able to relate well to people
  • good at problem solving or talking through issues
  • reliable and committed
  • able to provide insight from their personal experiences

We ask mentors to uphold our values of being bold, optimistic and community focussed. We will ask matched mentors to agree to a Code of Conduct and provide a referee we can contact for a character reference.

Mentor professions

Most of our mentors have studied an arts or humanities subject at university level and/or have worked in the creative industries for 4+ years, although this isn't a requirement, as people at the start of their careers often make great mentors. Below is a list of the areas that our mentors have focused on throughout 2021:

  • Academia
  • Acting
  • Architecture
  • Art & Design
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Comedy
  • Dance
  • English Lit/Lang
  • Fashion
  • Film & TV
  • Games Design
  • History
  • Interior Design
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Museums
  • Music
  • Music Tech
  • Politics & Activism
  • Philosophy
  • Photography
  • Publishing
  • Sociology
  • Theatre
  • Writing

If your area of expertise is not on this list, that doesn't mean you can't mentor - we are always very happy to expand it!


We’ll match you when we have a young person interested in your area of expertise. We train slightly more mentors than we have mentees. This helps us make the best possible match for every young person but means we are unable to match all trained mentors every year. If you are not matched, we will contact you if we do have a suitable match further down the line or when we next recruit young people. After mentors have completed training, they will hear from us by the end of November about potential mentee matches.


We'll cover how the Arts Emergency mentoring programme works and all the tools you need to be an amazing mentor. At training you’ll learn transferable skills about coaching, safeguarding and structuring mentoring sessions. We’ll also answer any questions you might have about supporting a young person.

Retraining & Safeguarding

If you have mentored with us before you will receive an invitation to re-register every autumn. If you'd like to mentor again but haven't received that email, please contact us. If you have already attended a training session, you don't need to retrain but you will be required to watch a video which explains our safeguarding policies and procedures.


After mentor training and mentor re-registration has taken place, we will get in touch with mentors by the end of November about potential mentee matches. If you are not matched after you have been to mentor training, we will get in touch with other ways for you to support young people through Arts Emergency. We will also contact you if we do have a suitable match further down the line or when we next recruit young people.

If you have any questions about mentoring drop us an email.

"You just have to throw yourself into it and I think those fears will dissipate and you will feel that you're part of something bigger, something meaningful, and you're truly making a lasting, lasting impact."
Cory, 2021 mentor