Patients and members of the public visited the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at Guy’s and St Thomas’ earlier this week to participate in the pilot of a unique mentor training programme, organised by the BRC’s Public and Patient Involvement Team.

The training, which is assured by the King’s Health Partners’ Education Academy Quality Assurance Committee, is adapted from the Trust’s highly regarded mentor training for staff and is one of the first of its kind in the country aimed at patients and members of the public.

The day-long course explored the theoretical aspects of mentoring and discussed the practical steps they can take on their mentoring journey.

Nzinga Gardner, who recently joined the BRC’s Public and Patient Research Advisory Group, said:

“For me, the sign of a great training experience is leaving it with a feeling of elation, motivated to apply my newly-learned skills as soon as possible.  The Mentoring course was one of those.  I would recommend it highly. “

Jacintha McGahon, the BRC’s Public and Patient Involvement Project Manager, said:

“Our patients and volunteers do so much to enrich the work of our researchers and we are always exploring ways in which we can support them in return.

“This is the first step on their journey to becoming fully fledged mentors. The skills they learnt today will help them in all aspects of their lives and will help them to support other members of the public interested in becoming involved in research.”

It is hoped that the pilot session, which was designed and delivered by Hannah Reed, Coaching and Mentoring Project Manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’, will become a fully fledged programme for volunteers and patients in 2017.