The Trust would be nothing without our volunteers. Since we set up our mentoring schemes in 2012, we have had 201 journalists volunteer their time as mentors. An impressive one-third of these have mentored more than once. In Volunteers’ Week, we thought we’d ask a few of our mentors on this year’s scheme why they volunteer….
Sarah Beale, producer at Channel 4 News (pictured left), tells us that she 'volunteered to be a John Schofield Trust because I feel strongly that young people who have committed themselves to this career get all the support they need. There’s often not a clear career path in journalism like there is in law, teaching or the civil service, and I know from experience that it can be easy to lose heart in the first few years. Having someone on hand who has experienced the system and is able to chat through the various pitfalls and advise on watching for opportunities can be very valuable.'
Bernadette Kitterick, Senior Producer with BBC Newsgathering (pictured right), tells us that she volunteered because ‘I wanted to offer support and advice to those without any connections in the world of journalism as they start their career’.
For Simon Wilson, Head of Journalism, Europe and Americas at the BBC World Service (pictured left), it was about giving 'something back to young journalists – and to get outside the comfort zone of my own organisation’.
Like Simon, Ian Sherwood, Director for NBC News (pictured right), is similarly motivated. Four-times mentor, Ian says mentoring 'has enabled me to give something back and work with the next generation of journalists, it’s a truly rewarding experience'.
Ian adds, 'I had a mentor early in my career in journalism... he’s still my mentor today and I’ve benefitted hugely from his experience and guidance.'
Nina dos Santos, CNN’s Europe Editor (pictured left), is another repeat mentor for us and also had mentors to whom she is grateful: ‘I was lucky enough to have been mentored by a few accomplished journalists when I embarked upon my career almost two decades ago. The experience left a lasting impression on me: it gave me a sounding board on which stories to pitch and how best to cover them, it taught me how to build valuable professional relationships that have stood me in good stead to this day and it made navigating the politics of large organisations less daunting. I volunteered because I want to give others the same benefits of that experience.’
Radio 4 Today Programme presenter, Martha Kearney (pictured right), has mentored for us twice. For her, the reasons are more personal: ‘I remember John Schofield and think this is a wonderful way to celebrate his career’.
To all our volunteers: THANK YOU! We couldn’t be where we are today without you.
If you would like to volunteer with the John Schofield Trust please contact JST Manager, Cathy Farmer at email@example.com