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How does mentoring work?

  • You will be matched with an industry professional who shares your interests.

  • You will have monthly meetings with your mentor in a public space or online. You, your mentor and the Arts Emergency team can decide the safest option for you, where you feel most comfortable.

  • Together you will focus on your goals and what you want to achieve.

  • Your mentor will help by offering advice and guidance on education and careers as well as helping you to build your confidence and connections.

Who can apply?

If you are under 18, you can apply if you live in London, Brighton, Greater Manchester, or Merseyside. If you are 18-25 you can apply from Bradford, Brighton, Birmingham, Coventry, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Merseyside, Newcastle and Gateshead, Nottingham, and Thanet. We try to work with young people who most need the support of an Arts Emergency mentor the most, and therefore every mentee must tick at least one of the criteria below:

  • neither of my parents went to university

  • my family’s household income is below £25,000 per year

  • me or my family receive Universal Credit

  • I am currently in care

  • I have previously been in care

  • I am currently eligible for Free School Meals

  • I was eligible for Free School Meals between year 7 and year 11

  • I was or am a recipient of a 16-19 bursary

  • I am a refugee or asylum seeker

  • I would describe myself as Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority background

  • I have a disability*

  • I have a learning disability and/or I have special educational needs*

  • I am a young parent

  • I am a young carer

*You’re disabled or learning disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

If you are not sure about your eligibility for the mentoring programme and would like to talk to a member of the team contact us

How do I apply?

Applications are closed and will open again in September 2022.

Alternative ways to apply:

When applying for a mentor, you're able to submit applications in video/audio format, or complete an application over the phone.

If you need the application in a different format, just let us know.

Do you have any advice for completing the online application?

You can read our advice on how to apply online here.

Who are Arts Emergency mentors?

Arts Emergency mentors are a team of volunteers from a variety of professional backgrounds. They've all signed up because they are connected, kind and want to help you get ahead! They are trained in goal-setting, working with young people and understanding safety procedures. Our mentors come from a range of established organisations including the V&A Museum, Netflix, ALRA, Financial Times, Manchester International Festival, BBC, Tate, Columbia Records, Royal Exchange, Contact Theatre, the Royal College of Art, and the University of Manchester.

What areas do Arts Emergency mentors specialise in?

Architecture - Fashion - Comedy - Journalism - Politics & Activism - Academia - Dance - Marketing - Acting - Music - English Literature/Languages - Interior Design - Museums - Publishing - Art & Design - Film & TV - Sociology - Art History - Games Design - Philosophy - Theatre - Music Tech - Classics - History - Photography - Writing … and more.

If you are unsure whether your interest falls under the arts or humanities, you can always email us at

How do you keep young people safe?

  • Mentors are trained by our team to work with young people and keep them safe.

  • Every mentor is required to sign our code of conduct and complete an enhanced DBS check.

  • Arts Emergency will conduct reference checks for all mentors.

  • The Arts Emergency team checks in regularly with young people and volunteers.

Do mentor pairs meet in person or online since coronavirus?

Mentor pairs meet once a month for about an hour. Traditionally these meetings happen face to face. Because of COVID and the need for social distancing, some meetings may take place by phone or video chat. Mentor pairs can decide if they would like to take a hybrid approach, and have some meetings in person and some meetings by phone or video chat. We will review guidance for this and keep you updated. In between sessions you may communicate by email.

What happens after mentoring?

After your year of mentoring, Arts Emergency will continue to offer you work experience, paid opportunities, trips, advice and industry connections until your 26th birthday. You can read about how this has helped people like Heather in the Our Stories section of our website.

Who should I contact if I have any questions?

Drop us a line at