Mentoring latest – September 2023

We were delighted to hold our first interactive briefing session at the end of August, and many thanks to all the mentors and mentees who attended. Thanks also to Adele Fraser, our Mentoring Associate who led the event. The session looked at how using Active Listening in mentoring can be a useful approach and discussed examples of support provided through mentoring.

We are also now looking for additional applications from mentors and mentees. Read our feedback summary for more information and details of how to apply.

May 2023

We are asking GWSF Committee/Board members or staff to complete an application form. If you are interested in providing mentoring to another GWSF member… please apply today as we are now seeking more mentors.

Also please fill in an application form if you are interested in getting a mentor (being a mentee). We are currently looking for mentors to work with mentees in the following areas:

  • Housing management
  • Care and Support
  • Asset Management/Repairs

Please apply today and contact Adele Fraser if you have any questions about the Forum’s mentoring service. We will shortly be matching mentors and mentees, so your help is appreciated! A short training session is also being planned for next month, so please keep an eye out for more details.

Thank you.


The mentoring service will be provided free to GWSF members, by members, on a voluntary basis. This service is supported by our Mentoring Associate, Adele Fraser, who will discuss with applicants what they are seeking from mentoring and match up applicants with a mentor or a mentee. A short training session will be offered to ensure that people participating in the service are aware of how mentoring works. This includes confidentiality, when to ask for advice about more serious issues, and how the mentoring works in practice. GWSF’s Mentoring Associate Adele Fraser can be contacted at

The mentoring service is designed to facilitate one-to-one discussions and allow members to share their experience within the community-based housing association field. This can be in relation to any issue that is important in their work.

Mentoring is now widely used, in a variety of organisations, to provide support to members. It is designed to offer informal and appropriate support in a range of situations, including:

  • Speaking with a staff member or committee member who are new to the sector or their current role
  • Being a confidential ‘sounding board’ to discuss any issues people are dealing with
  • Referring on if required to other appropriate sources of support
  • Helping members to achieve their goals
  • Sharing experiences in housing
  • It can be an informal coffee and a chat


Q: Can you tell me what the mentoring service is designed to provide?
A: To support people in their roles: we can see quite a new trend towards providing mentoring in the workplace.

Q: What is covered in the mentoring sessions?
A: A lot of mentoring is about informally discussing areas of common experience in a supportive way – so really acting as a ‘sounding board’. Giving some examples of similar experiences. It is not about telling the mentee ‘What to do’ or solving problems. It might be a quick chat over a coffee. It’s really important to be a good listener and to reflect on the discussions, and meeting to discuss possible options.

Q: How long does the mentoring last for?
A: The arrangement usually lasts for about six months or so but could be longer or shorter timescales. It doesn’t go on forever! Meetings are usually held monthly and last for about an hour.

Q: What training do people need to provide mentoring?
A: No formal training is required; however, a briefing will be provided for mentors on the GWSF website, and some in-person training and briefing sessions will also be offered. GWSF will also provide information on other, more formal, mentoring services delivered by other organisations: these are not free. For the GWSF mentoring service, mentors will only be required to attend a short briefing session and to sign up to standard mentoring guidance.

Q: What if sensitive or confidential issues come up? It’s a small world in housing – how do we ensure confidentiality?
A: This is important – confidentiality is key here and it is something that should be respected. It will be covered in the briefing. When we previously ran the pilot mentoring project, the confidentiality issue was covered in the training, and participants understood its crucial importance.

Q: Can mentoring solve some serious issues?
A: If any serious issues come up during the mentoring, the mentor can advise that it might be beyond the mentoring role. The mentor can also approach Adele or Colleen for further advice if need be.

Q: How will you make sure that we meet the rules about data protection/GDPR?
A: Staff at GWSF will be able to advise on any questions that come up on this. Information kept will be minimal and details securely disposed of once the mentoring is completed. There will be no need to keep detailed ‘word for word’ records.

Q: How will we match mentors and mentees?
A: We will ask people to fill out a short application form and encourage members to volunteer as mentors. Regular updates will be included in GWSF’s newsletters. The mentoring service has received a lot of interest, so we look forward to starting, growing and developing it this year for the benefit of all our members.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor/mentee/or both, please download the application form.

You can also contact Forum staff Colleen Rowan,, and Eleanor McCormack,, if you have a query about the mentoring service.