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Become a Mentor


""Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story." (Josh Shipp)"

In the past 16 years there have been over 3500 terrorism arrests in the UK, with every raid has and arrest leaving a trail of distress and trauma in its wake.

Amongst those most acutely affected are the innocent children present in the household, most of whom have witnessed a raid at a young age, causing considerable distress at the time and having  a lasting impact for years to come.

“All I could hear was screaming…my kids screaming… My daughter, she was so small, she saw and went into shock, she began to cry, asking where are they taking my Abu (father).”

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The Reality for Children of Prisoners

The emotional and physical reaction to the loss of a parent to prison has been likened to bereavement, so it is unsurprising to learn it leads to higher levels of truancy, low levels of motivation, poor academic achievement, and behavioural problems in school. However, imprisonment doesn’t always elicit the same sympathetic or supportive response as bereavement or divorce, though more children are impacted by parental imprisonment than they are by the latter. Children of prisoners are more than twice as likely, to suffer from mental health problems, three times at risk than their peers of committing anti-social or delinquent behaviour, with two thirds of boys with a convicted parent likely to become offenders themselves. 

To exacerbate this, the children of beneficiaries are often subject to bullying from their peers, are ostracised by family friends and live with the stigma of being the child of a ‘terrorist’. Alongside reconciling their personal conflicting emotions such as grief and anger, they witness their remaining parent struggle as a single parent, whether that’s financially, practically or even emotionally.

“…She won’t sleep at night. When she goes to bed, she is kicking her legs, moving around, tossing and turning. She never did that before…Sometimes she is sitting there, and she looks depressed, quiet and upset, thinking about things. She says, ‘I was just day dreaming’; she doesn’t want to tell me about what is upsetting her”

Amongst the many ways the impact of an arrest manifests itself in children include:

  • Bedwetting
  • Irrational fears
  • Temper tantrums
  • Attachment issues
  • Intervention from Social Services that cause anguish, instability, and anxiety
  • Bullying at school
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Major alterations to dynamics at home

“It impacted my education so that I actually failed my GCSEs…I failed everything

Now adults, many beneficiaries have reported the long term impact of experiencing parental imprisonment in their childhood and how they have struggled to find their way in life since.

The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it

It is essential that positive, consistent and accessible role models are present for young people, particularly where their family situation does not allow for this internally following an arrest.Mentoring is an effective tool for developing long-lasting and consistent relationships that have an impact on vulnerable young people and their families. It provides young people with individuals in their lives who they trust; who will explore alternatives with them; who will instil a belief that something better is possible; and who will help them to set goals and work hard to achieve them. Mentors will draw on their own personal experience and skills to help their young mentees reach their full potential.

We want to provide every vulnerable young person in the charity with a consistent, trusted and positive adult role model in their life who inspires and supports them as they grow into adulthood.

With this scheme we hope to:

  • Restore a positive role model in their lives so that they have someone to look up to
  • Empower our young people to set goals and work towards achieving them
  • Make them comfortable with their identity as Muslims growing up in the UK.

On National Mentoring Day, HHUGS are launching the pilot stage of the scheme, where we aim to mentor 6 young people between the ages of 12-18. The number of children, ages and services available under the scheme will be expanded, over the next six to twelve months.

Why Be a Mentor?

As a result of parental imprisonment, many young people are left without a father – at times, even their mother – and their struggles are not dissimilar to an orphan. Our responsibility toward those growing up without a parent in their lives is a weighty one, that goes beyond monetary support, and in fact extends to guiding and mentoring.

"When you feed them, clothe them and train them physically, you are fulfilling their rights for which you will be rewarded; by the same token, when you train them spiritually and impart beneficial knowledge to them, and guide them towards good morals and manners and warn them against the opposite, you are also fulfilling rights which are even more important.” (Sheikh Ibn Sa’di, Bahjat Quloob al-Abrar)

We are looking for individuals who will be kind and compassionate to a young person that has undergone severe loss, confusion, and difficulty. To commit to supporting him/her in such a way in which will undoubtedly earn you great reward with Allah (swt) and light in this life and the next.

“Perhaps the reason why the one who sponsors an orphan will be so close to the Prophet (saw) in Paradise is because a Prophet (saw)…is like a sponsor, teacher and guide for them, and the one who sponsors an orphan is taking care of one who does not understand his religion, or even his worldly affairs, so he guides him, teaches him and disciplines him. (al-Hafidh al-Iraqi)

What’s in it for you?

Remember our mentees are in a similar boat to you, this is a new Youth Mentoring Scheme, and therefore this experience will be as you make it.


  • Allah’s pleasure - help the next generation of youth with their communication abilities, talents, and skills, to better our Ummah and gain Allah’s reward. 
  • Play a pivotal role in the life of a young person - you communicate through your commitment that they are important and worth spending time with. Mentors can often get more from the experience than mentees.
  • Enhance your communication skills.
  • Instil hope and belief in a young person, just as you once had, or wished you had, growing up. Focusing on their ability to create a change in their own lives and ultimately others too. You will be a part of a ripple effect to better our society as a whole.
  • Broaden your scope of opportunity by documenting your development in skillset from our mentor training and practice.
  • Learn more about yourself by engaging with someone with a different perspective.
  • Widen your network, by getting to know other mentors from different backgrounds.
  • Help heal the young person who may have become subject to mental health conditions as a result of their difficult circumstances and experiences.
  • Be part of something unique in nature and not practiced anywhere else in the UK. You will have the opportunity to be a part of a project that has never been explored in the same way before, a Mentoring Scheme we plan to expand and grow, creating more opportunities for our young people.

To be a part of such a unique endeavour is both an opportunity and a trust. We are looking for dedicated and passionate individuals to be the difference – to help build, uplift and be a part of guiding the generation of tomorrow.

Role of volunteer mentors

Mentoring is a voluntary, purposeful relationship where the mentor serves as a trusted role model who provides the mentee with opportunities for development and growth, as well as support in helping them to make wise decisions and work towards achieving their goals. This includes:


  • During one to one mentoring sessions – Getting to know your mentee, their likes, dislikes, hopes and aspirations, building trust, developing activities for learning or enjoyment, developing goals and motivating the mentee to achieve these goals.
  • Before / after sessions – planning sessions in collaboration with mentee and building rapport and trust with mentee and his/her family.
  • Feedback – feeding back progress, achievements and concerns to the mentoring coordinator.

Main Duties

  • Planning sessions/activities in collaboration with mentee
  • Supporting the mentee to develop and work towards achieving their goals
  • Provide additional support / encouragement to mentees during the activity (e.g. providing extra 1:1 support with reading and writing)
  • Abide by HHUGS policies and procedures
  • Maintain an open and non-judgemental attitude
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries and confidentiality at all times
  • Attend training and respond to feedback about own delivery of the volunteering role.

Person specification

These are the skills and qualities you need to be a volunteer in this role. We will look at these areas when assessing if you are suitable for this particular role:

  • Empathetic listener
  • Non-judgmental attitude
  • Flexibility and patience
  • Reliability and willingness to meet regularlly with your mentee
  • Proactive approach
  • Collaborative approach to decision-making
  • Positive role model
  • Willingness to respond to feedback and constructive criticism
  • Commitment to attend initial training (12 hours) and ongoing training 

Training and support

  • An initial induction is given to all volunteers (over two days) at the start of their volunteering.
  • Volunteers are also warmly encouraged to attend training and development events which are held by HHUGS several times throughout the year.
  • Every four months, HHUGS holds a volunteer meeting which is an opportunity to give feedback and contribute ideas, as well as meeting other volunteers
  • Volunteers report to a designated Mentoring Co-ordinator, and individual feedback sessions can be arranged. 


HHUGS will repay out of pocket expenses incurred whilst fulfilling your mentoring role.