LOOK’s Mentor Project Coordinator, Ruth, introduces Kim:
“Kim has been involved in LOOK mentoring since June 2017.
She has been a mentor to 2 young people during this time, developing supportive and informative messages, and has supported youth forums with a wonderful session on Braille skills and literacy.
Since then, Kim has gone on to support LOOK at LOOKFest in 2019. This challenged Kim to face some of her own fears surrounding the great outdoors and dealing with a very different environment. She rose to this challenge incredibly and worked one-to-one and in groups with young people who relished spending time with an arts and crafts enthusiast.
Kim also used her passion to meet and support younger VIPs and get crafty at Sight Village last year. Whenever there is an opportunity to get out the paints, the craft kit, and have a natter along the way Kim has been there for the LOOK community.
Lockdown has been hugely challenging for so many VIPs; Kim has had to deal with a total change to her normal routine and was also unwell for some months. Yet through all this Kim remained a fantastic source of support to the LOOK community. She has been a regular participant in the Mentor group calls, sharing her own experiences and listening to others.
Kim has built on friendships she has established at LOOKFest 2019. Although she is not currently mentoring a young person, fellow mentor and close friend Abbie Rose, has found Kim to have been a lifeline lately. They had a tonne of fun creating their podcast Redders and Jeffers gaming and Kim has also provided Abbie with incredible support on her uni assignment. Well done Kim – you’re championing your fellow mentors and creating friendships and safe places to talk along the way. Thank you!”
“Hi, I’m Kim and my favourite things are napping and… um… well that’s it! When I’m awake, I do enjoy competing in the blind tenpin bowling league, drawing and gaming.
I first became involved with LOOK during my time at RNC in 2015. At this point the mentor project was still in its earliest stages and showed so much potential. From personal experience it was clear to me how greatly this type of support network was needed. Improving the education system for young people is something I am truly passionate about, so becoming a mentor was obviously the right thing to do! However, I was not expecting to find myself on the other side of the table, gaining far more in return than I ever imagined.
Throughout the last few years I have met so many wonderful people in our ever-growing mentor community. Each LOOK event I go to is a fantastic experience, even if it does take a lot of encouragement to make me leave the house!
The event which had the greatest impact by far was LOOKFest 2019. This gave me an opportunity to catch up with existing friends and make new ones. One person in particular became an extra-special friend. While hiding from wasps in a tent with Abbie-Rose, we connected over our shared love of gaming. It became the main topic of conversation all weekend and our buddy Liam was dragged into the conversation too.
When we later found ourselves stuck in lockdown, with nothing but the new Animal Crossing game as a distraction, things began to rapidly change. We set up a gaming group on Messenger, slowly adding members as time moved on. Fast forward a few months- now Abbie and I are several episodes into our new podcast all about games and accessibility! None of this would have been possible without our first meeting at LOOKFest.
I’m so grateful to the whole LOOK team and all my amazing friends for the support they continue to give. It’s always a struggle fighting against anxiety and pushing myself to stay involved with everything, but totally worth it! Hopefully, many more positive experiences await us in the future.”