‘Selfless, enthusiastic, and genuinely invested’: SoR and CoR mentoring schemes

The SoR and CoR mentorship schemes close this month, so mentors and mentees have shared how fulfilling and rewarding the schemes can be

Published: 08 July 2024 Career & Role Development

The Society’s Leadership Mentoring Scheme and the College’s Formal Radiography Research Mentoring scheme are due to close at the end of July.

Ahead of applications closing, mentors and mentees who have taken part in these schemes have shared their experiences with mentorship and how significant an impact it can have.

'Selfless, enthusiastic, and genuinely invested'

Radiography mentee Hannah Bown, interventional lead radiographer at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Foundation Trust, explained that spotting the scheme had sparked a desire to develop greater leadership and management skills to ensure she was directing her team at the level she wanted to operate in.

“Opportunities for leadership development are often scarce,” she said. “I started [the scheme] full of enthusiasm, and I achieved a lot – but it meant we inadvertently strayed away from some of our set goals. 

“We were constantly tweaking our objectives, and some of our sessions were challenging. [My mentor] doesn’t always give me the answers I would like, but she does provide me with a safe space where I can verbalise my thoughts, work through the problems, be challenged, and be escorted. 

“The Leadership Mentoring Scheme has taught me a lot about leading and mentoring, but also myself, that I had never expected. I’ve been really inspired. Working alongside someone so selfless, enthusiastic, and genuinely invested in improving someone else’s future has ignited a passion within me to do the same for others.”

'A true partnership'

Kerry Mills is a qualified diagnostic radiographer and works in key leadership roles at NHS England, focusing on strategic workforce planning. As Ms. Bown’s mentor, she explained how significant the experience had been for her.

“I was really excited to be taking part as a mentor this year, as while I have supported other leadership placements, these were short, time-limited activities. What the Society’s LMS offered me was longer to establish that connection over a longer period of time. It gave the chance for both of us to develop skillsets in complimentary ways.

“It’s been a true partnership and a learning curve for both of us. The energy and the enthusiasm and the motivation literally bubbled over, and we ran off into the sunset wanting to take over the whole world. I feel much more grounded since meeting Hannah. It’s made me really determined to keep sourcing ways to move forward and offer this experience of leadership to other people.

“I’d really like to thank Hannah, mainly for really trusting me during the time we spent together. It’s been a really positive experience, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

'Broadening my horizons'

Professor of diagnostic radiography Ruth Strudwick added: “I have been a mentor on the FoRRM scheme for the past two years. I have really enjoyed my role as a mentor and I have learnt a lot from my mentees and also about myself as a mentor. Both of my mentees have been highly motivated and just needed a bit of a push from me to develop and to achieve their goals. 

“I enjoyed getting to know each of my mentees and broadening my horizons within radiography. It has been a pleasure to work with Gillian and Eric and I wish them every success for the future.”

Catherine Matthams, a superintendent therapeutics radiographer at Velindre Cancer Centre, explained that she had been looking to undertake a research project, but had no idea where she needed to start.

She said: “Thanks to that mentor guidance, which helped me transition through each step of the process, I was able to publish the findings of research I wanted to complete. For me, the mentor-mentee relationship was key to everything. Your mentor will guide you, will support you, and will challenge you – because that’s when you develop, when you step outside your comfort zone.

“Anyone who is interested in developing their research skills, I would say go for it. The interaction and engagement is key, both for the mentor and the mentee, to keep the momentum going. Research as a radiographer can be quite isolating, and especially if you are new to the space it can be daunting. If you have a mentor to guide you, that is fantastic.”

Leadership, research, and networking

The Leadership Mentoring Scheme (LMS) is designed to support members who wish to move into senior leadership roles, equipping them with leadership and management skills, increased personal and professional confidence and professional networking.

The Formal Radiography Research Mentoring (FoRRM) scheme aims to increase the capacity and quality of radiographers involved in research in the UK, helping to enhance and develop research skills, elevate the radiography research profile, and work towards specific research outputs.

Members interested in applying to the LMS can find more information here.

Members interested in applying to the FoRRM can find more information here.