The mentor community really is like a family, it brings us so much joy when we can celebrate the incredible work that our mentors are doing.

It makes it even more special when that mentor was one of the first mentees to be supported by LOOK and is now a dedicated, supportive and active team member in our mentoring programme.

This month we celebrate Ussud as our September Mentor of the Month.

A message from Ruth, LOOK’s Peer Mentoring Project Officer.

“Here at LOOK, we have known Ussud since he got involved in the mentoring project as a mentee. It is a testament to his skills, development of confidence and compassion for other people experiencing VI that he is now a mentor himself.

We are hugely grateful to Ussud for his communication, his time and the creative energy he brings to all he does with LOOK.

Ussud volunteers with LOOK in a variety of ways. He is a one-to-one mentor, supporting younger people in written messages and in Zoom calls.

During 2022 Ussud has also been an active participant in face-to-face LOOK events, telling other young people and professionals about LOOK at a uni-specific Q&A session, at Central Sight Village and a school workshop in Manchester.

Ussud enjoys meeting people, hearing about them and their backgrounds and sharing his own experiences. This is what LOOK is all about.

Thank you Ussud for being a driving force for LOOK. Your journey from a mentee preparing for university, to a student entering their final year of studies, training in counselling skills outside of uni and finding part-time work is a privilege to witness.

Ussud is a committed member of the mentor team, listening to his fellow mentors in group supervision and meeting sessions. Your teamwork and helpfulness to others are fantastic.

We can’t wait to see what the coming months have in store for you both in study, work and volunteering wise.”

Ussud’s Mentor Nathan says of his time mentoring Ussud:

“It was a real pleasure being Ussud’s mentor and I found him very often motivating me. I was so glad when he decided to become a mentor and it is amazing to see that he is doing such a good job.”

A word from Ussud’s mentee.

“Ussud has been a fantastic mentor and has helped me through some very tricky times.

He is always very friendly and makes me feel like I’m not alone struggling with my problems at school and with my friends.

Having Ussud there to reassure me that it will be okay because he has gone through the same things that I have struggled with due to my vision has been a great help.”

A message from Gemma’s mentee, J.

“I find it very useful to be able to talk to someone when I am feeling overwhelmed or overthinking things.”

Image of Ussud in a yellow LOOK top and glasses, standing with LOOK's Peer Mentoring Project Officer, Ruth

Meet Ussud

“I was diagnosed with LHON (Leber hereditary optic neuropathy) 4 years ago, and since then I’ve had to go through enormous amounts of challenges – but I had a great support network, LOOK UK.

I was part of the LOOK mentoring program, as a mentee, having a mentor was a special feeling, I truly value the connections I made.

From the mentoring program, I came to accept my vision; although I see the world in a new way, it’s opened my perspective – I wouldn’t change it, I’m better this way.

I wanted to contribute to the community, so I decided to become a mentor with LOOK UK – I’m now mentoring 3 visually impaired mentees and I’m in the process of working towards graduating in Professional Creative Practice, to achieve my Counselling qualification to become a part-time counsellor in the future.

Thank you, Jessica Fogarty (my QTVI), Michael Jennings (my College Mentor), Nathan Tree (My LOOK-UK Mentor), Mark Probin (my College Lecturer), Lynne Reveley (Counselling Lecturer), Steve Riley, Phillip Barber & Matt Prentice (Professional Creative Practice lecturers), Ruth Storey (LOOK-UK), I wouldn’t be here where I am today if it wasn’t for your teachings.

To everyone at LOOK UK, for your kindness, for accepting me as part of your community and for nominating me as Mentor of the Month.

My message to you all is it’s not the destination, but rather the journey ahead, trust the process, it will guide you to your path.”

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.