Hooray for Lacey, our November mentor of the month!

As one of our most dedicated mentors, we want to celebrate Lacey’s commitment and loyalty to LOOK and all our projects through this Mentor of the Month award.

From Braille Club to Music Forums, LOOKFest and of course mentoring, we appreciate and value the enormous amount of time and energy that Lacey consistently gives to our charity and the LOOK Family.

But we especially want to highlight her fantastic work on the mentoring project recently with her own mentee. Lacey’s reflective and thoughtful questions, combined with a gentle and reassuring nature make her an excellent example of an ideal mentor.

Lacey always works hard to take on feedback and to develop her own skills, which is illustrated in the wonderfully open and honest partnerships she grows with her mentees, and her ever growing confidence running the Music Forums. We are so thankful to have Lacey as part of our LOOK Mentoring team – she really is a Star!

Meet Lacey

Photo of Lacey sat on a brown leather sofa, wearing a ble hoodie with 'Animal' written across the front over an orange graphic.

“Hi, I’m Lacey and I’m from Hereford but also spend some time in Colchester too. I’ve studied Special Needs and Inclusion Studies at university and volunteer for a couple of charities supporting visually impaired people. Before I go further, I’d just like to say a serious thank you for my nomination, it is greatly appreciated and also an unexpected surprise.

I was introduced to LOOK by another LOOK mentor who filled a mentoring role for me when I first started university. One seemingly random day I received a message inviting me on a Wellbeing weekend that LOOK was running back in 2017, a weekend I went on and had a great time with great people. Then, in 2018 I trained to become a LOOK mentor and have been mentoring ever since.

Growing up, I knew some visually impaired people but nobody in my day to day life that was older than me and until I went to specialist colleges, the thought of going to university or travelling around the country didn’t even occur to me.

So when I first heard about this project, I thought that it was a pretty unique idea which got me thinking about my time as a teenager because I knew that there would be young people out there who would have questions and thoughts that would be unique to them.

As I was just graduating from university at the time and was looking for what to be doing next, I thought that it was a good time to sign up to become a LOOK Mentor and see what happened. I also chose to become a mentor because I felt that I had the skills and experiences to offer those that were younger than myself, whilst also gaining skills and experiences of my own. As plenty of people have supported me in my life, I wished to give some of the support that I received back to someone else.

Being a mentor is being part of a very supportive community where there are opportunities to learn and grow. This time three years ago, I didn’t think that I’d be assisting in events during an epidemic or talking about Braille to groups of parents.

For anyone thinking about becoming a LOOK mentor or thinking of being a LOOK volunteer, it is definitely worth getting in touch with the LOOK staff as there are plenty of opportunities that are part of becoming a LOOK mentor, could lead up to becoming a mentor, or are independent of the mentoring project but are still just as important when supporting young visually impaired people.

One tip when mentoring is to really read/listen to what your mentee is saying and then take a moment of thought before responding. This gives you time to reflect on what the mentee is telling you. In this way, you have the chance to place yourself in their mind. Another tip is to approach the mentoring partnership with the possibility that advice-giving and motivation can be sent both ways, whether that’s advice on how to aim a camera or thinking about self confidence, you just don’t know until it happens.”

LOOK provides a free, tailored peer-mentoring service that connects VI young people with a trained VI mentor to offer advice, support and guidance on subjects such as school, Further & Higher Education, careers, opportunities and independent living, based on the mentor’s own experiences.

You can find out more about our mentoring service, here.