Selina is 26 and was matched with Sally as a mentor when she was just 4. After over 21 years of friendship, Selina tells us what makes mentoring special.
“As a child, I didn’t know a great deal about the process that Friendship Works goes through to match volunteers with the child they will be mentoring. But I do remember the first time I met Sally. I took her by the hand, asked her if she would be my friend and led her off to show her my bedroom – that was over 21 years ago!
“I was only 4 years old, a little younger than the normal age of children supported by Friendship Works these days. Even though I was only 4, I remember just how well we got on – but I never could have imagined that we would still have a firm friendship in her, both myself and my family. My sister has just as many memories of Sally as I do. She was a part of our family.
“As I got older I became even more appreciative to be matched with someone like her. We both always said that the reason our friendship lasted so long was because we had so much in common, even back then. We both love to read, and go to the theatre and we both cry way too much at soppy films.
“I will always remember the time we sat down to watch Homeward Bound when I was maybe about 9 years old – I was trying to fight back the tears until I looked over and saw Sally balling her eyes out. From then on I knew that I needn’t hide it any longer. And believe me, I haven’t – just ask my sister!
“The thing I admire most in Sally is that she is an advocate for trying new things, challenging herself, and in turn gave me a lot of different opportunities, and has meant that I have a very similar mindset now. I will always be grateful to her for that.
“She taught me to sew and took me to my first musical. I met all of her friends and family and when I got older, she even came with us on a trip to Mauritius to meet the rest of my family. I have a wonderful picture of Sally wearing my Auntie’s sari, she fit right in.
“I was always in awe of her exciting and busy lifestyle; she travelled the world, and lived in this huge city where she had such a successful career but somehow always had time for me. This has had such an impact on my life, especially now that I embark upon my own career in the same city. Her ongoing support makes this seem so very possible.
“Sally has very recently moved to Dubai with her husband and two beautiful little boys. Even with her own children, in a different country I always know that she is someone that I can depend on and I would like to personally thank her for that.
“As I got older I came to realise that Sally was also a huge support to my Mum who was a single Mum at the time, particularly when there was lots going on at home. Not only do I have a friendship in Sally, but so does my Mum, and our family, and I really believe that is why we have lasted so long.
“On behalf of myself, Sally and my family, I would also like to say a massive thank you to Friendship Works for matching us, and for their support over the last 21 years.”