Founded in 2017 by youth practitioner and project manager Elaine Thomas, we are a not for profit youth organisation that aims to provide long term mentoring and youth engagement solutions to young people from BAME and marginalised communities.
Why we do what we do

With over 15 years experience in the youth sector Elaine set out to demonstrate that BAME community led organisations can and should play a major role in supporting local young people and families. It is The Mentoring Lab's aim to work with Local Authorities and communities to increase young people's social mobility and reduce the circle of poverty.

Who we work with
The young people we serve are typically aged 10-17 years old, live on housing estates and are from black asian, minority ethnic, refugee or migrant backgrounds and may have additional learning educational needs.

What we offer
​We provide young people with opportunities to learn, develop skills and the qualities they need to succeed. 

We do this through the delivery of GAME TIME - detached, on estate youth engagement sessions, that allow us to identify some of the most at risk vulnerable young people, who can benefit from the following services;

- Structured mentoring
- Informal learning opportunities and 
- One to one or group tuition

By utilising GAME TIME as a gateway, we support young people in overcoming barriers to their progression and enable them to access wider opportunities, that would not otherwise be available to them.

How we help

Our mentoring and youth engagement services increase the following protective factors:

Positive social networks of support
Social and emotional skills
Supportive relationships
Healthy peer relationships
Opportunities to improve self-esteem



Our outcomes include:


Learning new skills 
Improved well being
Improved confidence
Improved relationships
Improved communication
Improved support network
Improved attitudes toward learning
Improved conflict-management skills
Reduced negative and destructive thought patterns

Profile of our participants

We support young people between the ages of 10-25 from Hackney and surrounding boroughs. Our clients typically come from economically deprived backgrounds and marginalised immigrant communities. There may be concerns about school attainment. There may be issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse or unemployment. Where parents are working, they may be working extremely hard to make ends meet and therefore not able to provide the structures and opportunities needed for their children to achieve and thrive.
Percentage that receive free school meals
30%
Percentage at risk of exclusion or have been excluded 
25%
Percentage living in social housing or social housing estates
78%

Since taking part in our activities...

We work to increase social mobility and reduce the circle of poverty. We provide young people with opportunities to learn and develop the skills and qualities they need to succeed. We do this through the delivery of structured learning, tuition and mentoring.
I have a better understanding of work/career opportunities available to them
70%
I have improved their communication skills
75%
I am more reflective 
67%
I am more committed 
75%
I am more motivated 
79%
I have met new people and made new friends since taking part in our sessions
79%

Team working attributes that I have been developed or improved whilst taking part in our online sessions.

We support participants to reflect on their skills and values, and the workplace attitudes they will need to develop to be successful. Participants have an increased understanding of the requirements of employers and how to operate in a working
environment, developing more confidence and less fear of the world of work.
I have developed their critical thinking
63%
I have developed their problem solving
71%
I have developed their listening skills
67%
I have developed their attention to detail
63%
I have developed their perseverance 
58%
The Mentoring Lab has made a positive difference to my lockdown experience. 
92%
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