Hope in Tottenham takes the training of its Mentors very seriously. This story celebrates one of the many mentoring partnerships we currently run.

HiT Mentee, Ismael Martinez, aspiring police officer

By Engagement Manager, Christina Davis

Hope in Tottenham is constantly adding to the huge success of its mentoring scheme, putting young people in Tottenham in touch with career-enhancing mentors. It’s why we recently caught up with our Mentee, Ismael who first partnered with Haringey-based Inspector Matt Chapman a year ago. The connection was made through our  Mentoring Programme, managed by Eleanor Henderson.

The 19-year-old has no doubts at all about his career in the police and how he wants it to progress. “I am going to do my apprenticeship degree. Then I am going to move into being an armed officer. And then later on I will want to go to CID” he tells Hope In Tottenham. His focus is impressive and is very much on track as he is now enrolled on the degree pathway into the MPS and will shortly be doing his fitness testing.

So why does he need a mentor? “I need to constantly be asking and reminding myself why this is the job I want to do and Matt can answer any questions I have” he explains, “he reaffirms my belief that this is the path for me. I’ve done all my research but it’s very good to have him there as he has lived it.”

Inspector Matt Chapman is an officer of 17-years standing and even has experience in some of the areas that Ismael is particularly interested in. He is one of the founding mentors for Hope In Tottenham and currently partners with several local young adults interested in joining the police as well as being a Hope In Tottenham MPS speaker for public service students at local colleges. Although he may have to take a short break from all that next year as he is part of a charity team climbing Everest partway to raise funds for four charities that support the mental health of emergency services workers (Mind, Thin Blue Line UK, London Ambulance Trust and The Ambulance Staff Charity).

HiT Mentor, Inspector Matt Chapman, MPS

However, busy as he is, he says there are lots of benefits for the mentor too. “You get to locally support someone who is young and ambitious and it gives you a wider perspective around the community you serve. It’s a good link to help you connect to the locality where you work.” But he admits it also has another result “it does definitely give you a really good feeling, giving back, it’s very worthwhile”. And he lists listening skills as the most important quality a mentor needs.

The pair meet up regularly online and have met twice in person too – once for a tour around Edmonton Police Station. In addition Insp. Chapman has done mock interviews with Ismael so he was prepared for the application process and he also organised a ride-along for the student to get the feel of a shift on the streets. Hope in Tottenham Mentoring Manager, Eleanor Henderson checks in on the pair regularly to make sure everything is going smoothly.

Reflecting on the pairing, Mentoring Manager Eleanor Henderson said “We are thrilled at how positively the mentoring relationship has impacted both Matt and Ismael. At HiT, we always take a great deal of care over the pairing process and it is wonderful when that pays off in a successful and supportive relationship. We are proud to work with both of them.”

“Having a Hope In Tottenham is very educational,” concludes Ismael. “It gives you a great perspective and I find it insightful. It’s really helped me. I don’t really think people realise that mentoring happens – it was a surprise for me to be helped this early on. But given the chance why wouldn’t you do this?” Inspector Chapman agrees. “I would have loved to have a mentor when I started out in the Met. Ismael is joining with a much better understanding of the job than I had at that age” he notes.

And would Ismael return the favour for someone else? “Absolutely. I love teaching. I would definitely mentor someone in time”.

To learn more about our Mentoring Programme please contact mentoring@hopeinharingey.com