Ruth Storey, Mentor Project Co-ordinator.

‘It is a real delight to have Brigitta in the mentoring team. Brigitta deserves this recognition for several reasons. She has been a part of the LOOK community and mentoring team for several years and has provided consistent support and engagement to LOOK and the families we support for such a sustained period.

Brigitta has managed to do this whilst juggling other commitments: studying for her degree and now her Masters, her paid work and other volunteering projects. She is a fantastically busy person and continues to approach all these commitments with positivity and energy.

Brigitta’s mentoring messages always hold the young person’s words as her focus, without judgement and filled with enjoyment for their individual personality, interests and needs. She considers her replies with care and keeps the young person engaged in the process. In addition to her written mentoring support, she has been involved in LOOK workshops and even a school visit – where her presence and viewpoints were appreciated by the young people and teachers alike. Thank you so much, Brigitta, for your continued support to LOOK UK and the mentoring project – we hope you had a very Merry Christmas and here’s to a Happy New Year!

Meet Brigitta

“My name is Brigitta and I have been a mentor at LOOK since 2016, when the mentor program started. I am currently a Masters student studying primate conservation at Oxford Brookes University.

I wanted to become a mentor because when I was young and going through school, I would have loved to have had someone who had been on a similar road in life as me to talk to about my eye condition and give me advice. I eventually learnt on my own to be unapologetic about my visual impairment and to be assertive with what I needed. By mentoring, I hope I can help young visually impaired or blind people to arrive at this sooner than I did. In mentoring, I also really enjoy making a connection with people and hoping that my own experiences can help inform others and guide them through any difficulties they may experience, or even just through the day-to-day.

The best tip I wish to give to other mentors is openness and honesty. To be a mentor, you need to not have any barriers up and to be open about yourself to your mentees. If you expect them to be open with you, you have to do the same for them. Be honest about your experiences, because there may be something there that your mentee can relate to, and you can show them how you got through it. Also, sometimes a mentee isn’t always dealing with a problem but they just need someone to talk to, and that’s ok! You have to be there through the highs and lows.

A word from Brigitta’s Mentee

“I would like to say thank you to Brigitta. During the pandemic there have been many instances where I haven’t spoken to anyone but just knowing that there is someone checking in on you is reassuring. I am very grateful.”

LOOK’s Mentoring service

LOOK UK offer a tailored peer-mentoring service for visually impaired young people which connects VI students with a VI graduate to offer advice, support and guidance based on their own experiences. You can find out more about this service, here.