You may have read a previous news article about Pathways, a new mentoring initiative to support people to become empowered and independent. We spoke to Caleb Mallard (Pathways & Volunteer Manager at Genesis) and Sarah Thayer ( for an update on the programme.

Background on Sarah

Sarah, a Bath-based Transformational Coach, has been helping Caleb with the design of the programme since March 2019. Just days before meeting Caleb, Sarah had verbalised to her own coach her desire to offer coaching support to a local charity, since homelessness is something she feels so passionately about.

It was literally the very next day that she received Genesis’ newsletter and decided to join the Pilgrimage Walk in Bath later that weekend. It’s here she met Caleb and heard about Pathways.

What makes a good mentor?

“It’s about quality of character, not expertise. The most important traits we’re looking for are empathy, compassion, and the ability to listen. It’s less about telling people what to do, and more about asking people about their lives, understanding what motivates them – what we call Good Help” (Caleb).

“It’s really important to believe in others’ capabilities and your own willingness as a mentor to be changed by the experience. In many ways, this is an equal relationship because both mentor and mentee are impacted and changed during the process. Throughout it is also essential to ask oneself: am I power-sharing here?” (Sarah).

Matching the mentees

In October, potential mentees will be matched with mentors to ensure a suitable and productive working relationship.

Mentees could be facing any number of challenges, and it is important they are ready to make a change as Caleb explains:

“The most important thing is people self refer. But it’s not just a case of saying you want to make a change; it’s about actually carrying it through. Those are the kind of people our mentors can give the best support to”.

Could you become a Pathways mentor?

The first group of mentors have completed training. If you are interested in finding out more, come to a Pathways introduction session!

We are having further introduction meetings on:

Friday 1st November: 2-3pm

Thursday 5th December: 1:30 – 2:30pm

To register your interest or to find out more, please contact Caleb.