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Mentoring Programme

The CO3 Mentoring Programme has begun for 2017-18 however we do have some Mentors available for ad hoc short-term mentoring. Please contract tracey@co3.bz or Tel: 028 90 245 356 for further information.

CO3 Chief Officers 3rd Sector and the Northern Ireland Assembly are delighted to announce the return of their joint Mentoring Programme.  This joint venture will enable a cross sectoral approach to allow Mentors who have extensive knowledge and expertise from across a wide range of sectors to be matched with Mentees who are seeking support.

“My Mentor took the time to really listen to me; he created a safe confidential space where I felt at ease sharing my issues and receiving critical and thoughtful comments on how to consider the situation / proceed with the situation.  He was so gracious and really offered a reflective mirror for me to view change.  He was kind and considerate, but never afraid to pose the really meaningful questions which can give new insights for someone working their way through the situation.”

Kate Laverty, Manager, Colin Community Counselling




What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a leadership development service that enables individuals to benefit from the experience and knowledge of their peers. It provides an opportunity to share best practice and provide a sounding board with a view to supporting personal development and to improving performance.  Mentoring is a highly successful development tool at senior executive level because it is tailor-made to suit the individual; and issues/experiences can be discussed in a safe and confidential environment.   We know that by participating in the programme the leadership capacity of both the Mentor and Mentee is enhanced. 

Who is the programme for?

The Mentoring Programme is designed to support Chief Executives and Senior Managers who work in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Northern Ireland Voluntary and Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector.

We are looking for Chief Executives and Senior Managers to be Mentees who are facing a new challenge, specific work situation, or a personal development issue and would like to work this through with the help from a Mentor.


We are also looking for Chief Executives to be Mentors with the following attributes:

  • a willingness to listen and to share their knowledge and experience
  • a keen interest in others and a willingness to share their successes and failures (i.e. they do not claim to be perfect!)
  • an open-minded point of view and enthusiasm to explore new ideas or ways to do things differently.

What is the time commitment?

Leaders are matched with other leaders for a 12 month period.

Mentors will be asked to meet with their Mentee approximately every 4-6 weeks over the 12 month period.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for Mentors.

To be a Mentee on the programme you must be a CO3 member. There is also a small fee of £50 for the year to cover Mentor travel expenses.

When will it start?

The Mentoring Programme will begin in April 2017 and those interested in finding out more are invited to an information session in March:

Date      7 March 2017

Time     11am - 12 noon

Venue   CO3 Offices, 34 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast, BT2 7DB.

If you then decide to become involved in the Mentoring Programme CO3 will provide you with all the training, information and materials you need.

How do I reserve a place at the Information Session?

Please contact Tracey McCreanor by e-mail tracey@co3.bz or  telephone 028 9024 5356.    

We hope that you will consider taking part in this exciting project and look forward to hearing from you. If you would like further information please contact Tracey McCreanor on 028 9024 5356

Here’s a list of the top benefits that we have gathered from Members who have been involved in Mentoring:


Having a Mentor

  1. It’s a free service.  A great leadership development opportunity
  2. A friendly ear.  We know it can be lonely at the top. This is someone who can encourage you and boost you when you are down and who can often end up being a life long colleague.
  3. A Safe Space – this unbiased third party is someone you can talk through an issue with  and see options and find solutions
  4. Learning from others – they have often been there done that! So you can repeat their successful strategies and also learn from their mistakes
  5. Challenge – A Mentor can provide the challenge that you may not get from your SMT and help you move away from your bad habits to develop more successful ones.


Being a Mentor

  1. Free Personal Development – As part of the programme you will receive training on how to be a Mentor and your own soft skills will be enhanced.
  2. A time to Reflect – Mentoring gives you a great opportunity to reflect on your own self awareness and  leadership style and as a result be a more effective leader.
  3. The “Pass it on” Effect – Helping another person and seeing them develop and grow in confidence is very rewarding
  4. Recognitions – you will gain recognition by your peers, your Board and the Sector  for helping develop leadership in the Sector.
  5. Challenge – A Mentee can provide you with challenge in a way that your own staff or Board may not be able to.

Quotes from Past Participants:

“This is the best thing CO3 has ever done – thank you so much for the opportunity”

“I have had a hugely positive experience and learnt so much from my mentor”

“My ‘conversations with purpose’ with my mentor have been invaluable – not just for my own development but also for the development of my organisation”

“My mentor genuinely provides a different perspective, actively listens and  questions. We have set tasks and a focus for each meeting which makes me take time to look at, for example, my leadership challenges more theoretically.”

“My Mentor is so easy to talk to and has extensive experience in the areas that I need to discuss”