Meet the Mentors: Joe Brown

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Meet the Mentors: Joe Brown

The Path to Evolve

After moving on from his football career aspirations, Joe Brown found himself working various manual labour jobs before deciding he needed a change. Joe saw himself as a good fit for the Health Mentor role, with his own personal experiences drawing him to the role. Having grown up without a father figure and feeling that loss of support made Joe realise that he could have done with someone like a Health Mentor when he was younger, and wanted to be able to provide that support to the next generation.

Joe has now been a Health Mentor for nearly a year, and is making serious impact and progress with his mentees in the Birmingham Virtual School, which helps care-experienced children and young people to access valuable learning and development opportunities.

Highlights of being a Health Mentor

For Joe, the most rewarding aspect of being a mentor is witnessing the impact he has on his mentees and the journey he gets to go on with them.

In particular, Joe recalls one mentee who appeared to be visibly upset and, despite them only having met once before, Joe was able to notice this and help him open up. Within a week, Joe was able to get the child moved to a new care home where he felt much more comfortable. Shortly after, Joe could see the significant positive changes in his mentee, noticing how much more at ease he seemed in his new environment.

Challenges of Being a Health Mentor

Joe finds that one of the hardest parts of the Health Mentor role is building that initial trust and rapport with mentees. He has noticed that they will often equate a Health Mentor with a teacher or social worker, and are reluctant to open up. Health Mentoring requires resilience and patience, and Joe knows that it takes time for mentees to fully understand that the mentors are there to help them.

Significant Achievements

One particular achievement that Joe looks back on fondly is his success in supporting a mentee who struggled with social anxiety. This young person found crowded areas overwhelming and often struggled with communication. However, with persistence and unwavering support, Joe helped him overcome these challenges and secure his first job in a public-facing role. This accomplishment not only marked a milestone for the mentee but also underscored Joe’s dedication and impact as a Health Mentor.

Joe has also experienced some personal growth himself since becoming a Health Mentor. He sees himself as a completely different person, and has noticed that he is much calmer and softer around his family, particularly noticing an improved relationship with his own sister.

Joe’s journey as a Health Mentor shows how support and growth work both ways. His story highlights how mentoring can positively impact both the mentees and the mentors.

Why Health Mentors are so Important 

Joe believes Health Mentors are crucial because many young people often don’t feel comfortable opening up to teachers or other school staff. In a care home setting, it’s especially beneficial for young people to have a trusted person they can confide in. Health Mentors provide that essential support, helping them feel heard and valued. While care home staff work with many children and may have limited time, Health Mentors can offer dedicated attention and support.