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Carnegie Pavilion

Mentoring Conversations

Our mentoring scheme aims to build leadership capability by providing support to new and current managers at key stages in their professional development.

Whether you are a new or existing manager wanting to increase your knowledge or skills in a particular area, we will aim to support you in making the most of your talents by matching you with a more experienced colleague who can provide mentorship based on their own real life experiences.

If you are looking for an opportunity to enhance your skills and performance in your role, please get in touch on the contact details below.

Mentoring Scheme

Ed Stout shares his experiences of the Scheme


What is involved?

Our proposed mentoring structure outlines one meeting per month over a period of six months. This is of course open to individual discussions and agreement between mentors and mentees themselves – essentially it’s whatever is reasonable and works for each individual partnership.

The mentor is there to provide additional support to that offered by line managers and will be taken from a different area of our University so as to provide an objective and confidential sounding board. Mentees will be expected to commit time and effort to the development process and take care of arranging the location and dates for meetings.

The People & Organisational Development (OD) team will match mentees with mentors and provide development advice as required. They will also evaluate the process after 6 months from the perspective of both the mentee and mentor.


What can I discuss?

The purpose of the scheme is to support your professional development by enabling you to gain advice on any issues or challenges that you might be facing. Mentees may want to discuss:

  • their mentor’s past experiences of leading and managing and any effective strategies that they developed that were successful

  • any issues and challenges that they are currently facing

  • possible strategies to overcome problems and avoid common mistakes

  • any further resources, development or support that may be available

How do I request a mentor?
If you would like to request a mentor please fully complete the mentoring request form and a member of the team will get in contact with you. If have any questions about the scheme, please contact POD@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

How do I find out more about becoming a mentor?
Using your skills, knowledge and experience to mentor others can be a hugely rewarding experience. From October 2019, all our new mentors have access to an online learning module before being matched with a suitable mentee.
Please contact  POD@leedsbeckett.ac.uk for a conversation about becoming a mentor at Leeds Beckett, indicating which scheme you are interested in joining.

I found it really useful to be able to talk to someone who is a little removed from my area of the University. My mentoring sessions were productive, helpful, open and honest, and of huge support to me during my first year of being a manager.

Tom Hey - Head of Technologies for Learning

Our Return to Work Mentoring Scheme has been set up to support people back to work following a period of maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. This provision aims to make the transition back to work easier by matching individuals with mentors who have experienced it themselves and are able to support based on their own real life experiences. We hope the benefits of this will be wide ranging – for both mentees and mentors and also our University more widely in terms of enabling and supporting our talent. The guidance document provides some further information.

What do I do next?

If you feel that this could be of benefit to you, please identify based on the profiles below which mentor you feel is best placed to support you. To set up a mentoring relationship, please contact a mentor directly (by clicking on their profile picture) to introduce yourself and check their availability. Please note a mentor needs to be someone from outside your own area. If you would like to discuss the support you need or your choice of mentor in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact the People & Organisational Development Team on POD@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or call x25438.

Review and Evaluation

At the end of the mentoring relationship the process and impact will be reviewed by both parties via confidential questionnaires. As this scheme is new, this aspect is particularly important to us.

Brilliant idea, I was really glad to have someone to talk to but who wasn’t part of my normal work team

Paula Singleton - Senior Lecturer in Critical Psychology

Our Mentors

Alex Allen
Alex Allen Right Arrow
IT Service Desk Manager
IT Services
Both Campuses
Work Pattern: Compressed Hours, 37 Hours, Monday - Thursday

I'm a father to one energetic son, born March 2016, while I did not take an extended period of time off for his birth, it was just 6 weeks, I do work a compressed working pattern to allow me to look after my son one day a week. My wife, who also works here at Leeds Beckett, works a compressed working pattern to be able to do the same. I woud be happy to chat to any prospective or new Dads about my experiences of working part time or flexibly for childcare reasons while also maintaining a career and a healthy work life balance in a two career household. 
Leigh Beales
Leigh Beales Right Arrow

HR Administrator
HR Services
Headingley Campus
Work Pattern: Part-time

I have two school aged children, a son born in 2012 and a daughter born in 2014. I was working in the NHS when I had both of my children and found it difficult returning to shift work after 9 months of maternity leave. Having time at home with both children made me revaluate my work life balance and I have been lucky enough to work at Leeds Beckett since 2015. Since joining the University, I have worked in both full and part time roles and I have felt well supported to not only do my day job but to be there for my children as well. From going part time to accommodate school drop off’ s in a different town,  to using flexi-leave to attend school assemblies; I have felt supported by colleagues at the University to enjoy a career and a busy family life.

Georgina Wood
Georgina Wood Right Arrow

HR Officer
HR Services
Headingley Campus
Work Pattern: Mondays and Tuesdays (Job Share)


I have worked at Leeds Beckett University since November 2015. I have a great job share partner, this was a new working pattern for both of us so I am happy to share my experiences of us setting up a job share arrangement and how to make it work for everyone involved. I have 2 sons, one born in 2010 and one born in 2014 who keep me very busy outside of work. I was lucky enough to take my full maternity leave for both my boys, so I understand the challenges of returning to work after a long "break", as well as juggling a part time career around my family.

Jess Greenwood Owens
Jess Greenwood Owens Right Arrow

Academic Quality Support Officer
School of Clinical and Applied Sciences
City Campus
Work Pattern: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8am - 4pm


I have 1 child and returned to work when he was 10 months old, I am able to provide practical support on what it's like to return to work following parental leave and am willing to share my experience. I returned to the same role however I used to work full time and I now work 22.5 hours per week (3 days), our son attends nursery and is also looked after by a grandparent. Returning to work took a bit of an adjustment, however it was much more straightforward than I imagined and I enjoy being able to combine working and looking after our son.

Kate Kluttz
Kate Kluttz Right Arrow

Lending & Operations Development Manager
Libraries & Learning Innovation
Both Campuses
Work Pattern: Full-Time


I have 1 daughter in primary school. I had 10 months maternity leave at my previous institution, returned to work on slightly reduced hours for a few months, and have been working full-time for the past few years. My husband also works full-time and we have juggled the nursery / school run between us. I am in a managerial / strategic role and (mostly) enjoy the challenges of balancing career progression with being a parent.

Kathryn Hassell
Kathryn Hassell Right Arrow

Student Experience Manager
Student Services
Both Campuses
Work Pattern: 26 hours over 3 days a week


I have 2 children, a girl born in 2012 and a boy born in 2016. I worked full-time before my maternity leave of 11 months and returned initially full-time for 2 months before reducing to 26 hours over 3 days a week. Returning to work after my first child I found rather easy, second time round it’s been much harder, so many more daily priorities to manage.  My husband works full-time and neither of us work in the same city we live in so we have had to call in the grandmas to assist on many occasions. From managing severe sickness, calculating survival on a part-time wage, arranging childcare to sleep deprivation, I’ve had my fair share of experience and would love to offer advice and support to anyone who may need it.

Kirstie Frenneaux
Kirstie Frenneaux Right Arrow
Project Manager
Enterprise Services
Cloth Hall Court - City Campus
Working Pattern: Monday  - Wednesday

I have 2 children, a boy born in 2009 who is at school and a girl born in 2013 who is in nursery. I took 12 months maternity leave and returned to work from my last period of leave in 2014. I manage staff and budgets and am happy to support on a range of issues.

Laura Taylor
Laura Taylor Right Arrow
Course Director
School of Film, Music and Performing Arts
Electric Press, City Campus
Working Pattern: Full time

I'm an academic member of staff. I've been on maternity leave twice over the last 5 years. I returned to work full time and my children were 7 and 9 months old at the time of returning. I continued to breastfeed both children after my return to work. I was a course leader when I left to have my first child. I am a PhD student and suspended my studies to have my second child. I have experience of having to find full time childcare in Leeds.
Linsey King
Linsey King Right Arrow
UG Course Director, Principal Lecturer - Nutrition and Dietetic Group, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences
City Campus
Work Pattern: Full time

I have 3 children, 2 girls and a boy born in 2008, 2010 and 2013. I have had 3 lots of maternity leave employed by the University and each was between 9 months to a year in duration, with additional annual leave added on at either end. I have been back at work since September 2014. I have returned to full time work after each of my periods of maternity leave. I drop the children off at school and my husband does pick up.
Jo Horsfall
Jo Horsfall Right Arrow

Lending Services Manager
Cross Campus
Work Pattern: Full-Time


On my return to work I reduced my hours from full-time to 16 hours job-share, however since January 3rd 2018 I have been full-time. Although my daughter was born in 2000 and my son in 2001, I would be happy to share my experiences of the challenges I faced with having 2 children quite close together in age and no family support within easy reach.

Rachel Rich
Rachel Rich Right Arrow

Course Director
School of Cultural Studies and Humanities
City Campus
Work Pattern: Full time

I came back to work when my son was 6. I know something about the various ways of trying to balance life and work, and am happy to share my experiences and support colleagues trying to find the right balance for them

Faye Thompson
Faye Thompson Right Arrow

Academic Services Manager
School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality Management
Headingley Campus
Work Pattern: Full-time

I have two children: a daughter born in 2011 and a son born on Christmas Day 2013. With both children I took about 7 months’ maternity leave. In the time since I returned to work I have experience of making different working patterns successful around child care and school: working just less than full-time over 4 days, over 5 days and full-time. Just over a year ago I also became a school governor in the hope that I can use my skills, knowledge and experience to try to secure a positive educational experience for local children.

Georgina Wood

Georgina Wood

Return to work mentor since January 2017.

"I learnt a lot from my mentee and developed my mentor skills as a result. I learnt to really step back and fully listen. It is so useful for people returning from a period of prolonged leave, I think it helps them to get re-established at a time of change and gives them a channel of independent support."

Andy Withey

Andy Withey

Requested a mentor when promoted to a strategic leadership position.

“Through conversations with my mentor I became much more aware of my strengths. I have learned how to think more strategically, identify when I need to do this as part of my role and when it is okay to concentrate on more my immediate team related issues.”



Sharon Meredith

Sharon Meredith

New manager mentor since 2018.

The mentoring scheme not only helps with the support, guidance and advice for the Mentee, but provides experience as a Mentor too which I found really rewarding. It is a great opportunity to share experiences, network with others and also learn about new areas of the university which previously you may not have been familiar with.”

Will Atkinson

Will Atkinson

Will requested a mentor in 2018 when tasked with managing a newly created team.

The two main things that I gained from my mentoring relationship were an increased level of confidence in my role and a sense of perspective that I was able to gain from speaking to someone who isn't involved in my work. I have found this scheme instrumental in helping me gain confidence as a new manager, and I'm sure that others would find similar benefits from it.”

Sharon Swales

Sharon Swales

Mentor on new manager mentoring programme.

“I have enjoyed the process and feel good that I have helped someone else and used my expertise to assist in someone’s development. This has also helped my confidence as a people manager.

Paula Singleton

Paula Singleton

Requested a return to work mentor following a period of adoption leave.

"I felt well supported, it was really useful to hear other coping tactics from someone who was further along the childcare journey. I feel that the sessions would be useful for all staff who have returned to work after childcare related leave, I found it gave me a wider perspective on what is important at work, for me and for the institution."

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