January 20, 2010 Leave a comment
The value of older people as mentors and their understanding of the power of on-line social networking have both been amply demonstrated in the Yell and horsesmouth Mentoring Works Awards. The three awards for business mentoring, which were drawn from user nominations on the online mentoring website horsesmouth.co.uk, were all won by individuals over the age of 50.
The winner of the £1000 Mentor of The Year Award is 64-year old Keith Williams from Ackworth in Yorkshire, a SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative) accredited professional, who advises small businesses and social enterprises. Having created and developed many successful businesses in the last 20 years, Keith feels he has made plenty of mistakes and learned from them and believes that today he can pass on this learning to young entrepreneurs on the way up.
Winner of The £500 Editor’s Prize, for the most inspiring story published on horsesmouth.co.uk, is 51-year old Jayne Bellis from Chester. The £500 M-Factor Award – for the most active business mentor with the highest rating on the site, goes to 52-year old Michael Birchmore from Portsmouth.
horsesmouth.co.uk is the world’s first ‘pro-social’ networking site and was purpose-built in 2008 for online mentoring on a wide range of topics including education, careers, health, families and relationships. It is free and available to anyone over the age of 16, with the majority of the site’s users being under 25. The site is professionally hosted, managed and moderated and all profiles, stories and weblinks are approved before posting.
Much is talked about in the workplace concerning the potential role of older workers as mentors. This is proof, if any was needed, that the wisdom of age and experience is welcomed by the young if presented in a relevant, individualised and meaningful way. Employers would do well to consider what they might learn from this model.