The Alliance has promoted the Partnership Programme to help member associations increase their capacity to develop services, education and support for people living with ALS/MND, and to encourage them to share resources and experiences .
Partnership activities have included educational visits, advocacy, practical advice and more. These activities involve a person or organisation with skills, experience or knowledge, sharing with someone who has requested assistance in specific areas.
Partnership activities have resulted from personal contact at the Annual Alliance Meeting or offers and acceptance of assistance. Often, these activities have been supported by Alliance Support Grants. Some activities have been solely funded by the partners.
The Alliance is now formalising the Mentorship Programme to promote the sharing of expertise and knowledge and to develop leadership and capacity within ALS/MND associations.
Mentorship is a process through which an Alliance Mentor accepts responsibility to guide a Mentee on aspects of organisational management, governance, programming, service provision or other areas where the Mentor has experience and expertise.
In general, the purpose of mentoring is to support individual development by providing both career and psychosocial support. It is essential that a Mentor can draw on personal expertise and experience. They may also consult “subject experts” who have more detailed or specific knowledge of a particular issue.
A Mentor does not just tell the Mentee what to do. In the context of the Alliance, when member organisations seek support via mentoring, the Mentor’s role is to provide expert advice and reflect on their experiences to offer input on what direction a Mentee might pursue. A Mentor should also flag key challenges that may arise and help the Mentee develop a plan to face those challenges.
Who are Mentors?
Read the role description here. Our Mentors are people who have a breadth of knowledge about running an ALS/MND organization or providing services to people with ALS/MND. They also have the time and ability to learn about the Mentee and the issues they want to address, recognising the need to understand their environment and culture. Mentors may enlist available “subject experts” who have expertise in a specific subject area to assist them in their mentorship work.
Mentors have a high level of commitment. It takes experience and skills: the ability to see the bigger, overall picture and the place of the organisation and its activities within that picture. Being a Mentor requires understanding the role as well as the cultural and social context. It also requires as a desire to learn about the people and organisation you are mentoring. It takes passion.
Mentors are not simply a list of names and qualifications. Mentors self-identify and apply. They are selected for their skills, experience and mentorship capacity, as well as availability and commitment.
How do I become a Mentor?
A Committee appointed by the Alliance Board, with experience in mentorship, will review Mentor applications, identify appropriate applicants and create a Mentors Panel. Applicants not selected will be offered advice to help them add to their skills and experience and will then be encouraged to reapply.
Consideration should be given to supporting Mentors to attend the Alliance meetings to develop contacts, expand mentoring opportunities with members, and enhance their global knowledge.
Mentors must be existing Alliance members.
Who are Mentees?
The Alliance is a broad spectrum of ALS/MND organisations with different levels of development and service delivery. Some are mature and well-established, while others are new and emerging, and there are plenty in-between. All of these member organisations share similar goals – to provide the best quality support and care, to find a cure, to support research, to increase public awareness, to raise funds and govern well. All organisations are made up of individuals who have different levels of expertise and different experience.
Alliance members have the opportunity to receive the benefits of mentorship. The sharing of knowledge and experience can enhance every member that seeks mentorship support.
A “Mentee” is an Alliance member who seeks help from a Mentor. Mentees are individuals or organisations that need the assistance and support of a guide – to help them through processes of change and development, of initiative and implementation, of development and growth. The goal of Alliance mentorships is to improve a member’s ability to provide care, services or programmes to people with ALS/MND, whether individually or through an organisation.
How do I become a Mentee?
On the application, Mentees will be asked to identify a specific area they would like to develop. Remember: the more specific and targeted your goals are, the better the outcome of a Mentorship will be. Being specific about where you need support will allow the Committee to match you with the best Mentor for the job.
A Committee appointed by the Alliance Board will review Mentee applications. For each request, they will try to match the Mentee with an appropriate Mentor, someone with relevant experience, skills and knowledge.
Mentees can be ALS/MND organisations or key staff or volunteers within them. Where the Mentee is the organisation, that organisation should identify the key person or group of people for the task or challenge at hand. Where the Mentee is an individual, that individual’s personal and professional development should ultimately be aimed at improving their ability to provide support to people with ALS/MND.
What is the Alliance’s role?
The Alliance role is to be a broker – to bring together those who seek a Mentor and those that offer to be one. Through the applications for Mentors and Mentees, the Alliance matches those who need with those who can.
The Alliance also promotes quality assurance, provides oversight for Mentors and Mentees, encourages mentoring relationships and maintains the Mentorship Programme. The Alliance assumes responsibility for managing official mentorship projects. This includes the vetting and appointment of official Alliance Mentors. Mentors are the face of this Alliance program. It also includes providing oversight for each mentoring project, ensuring that timelines are met, that meetings are held and that progress is achieved.
Finally, the Alliance is responsible for the ongoing development and modification of the Mentorship Programme. As an element of the Alliance Partnership Programme, it will be grow through members’ experience and outcomes, and the Alliance will share and promote members’ mentorship stories.
All mentors and mentees who are supported by the Alliance will be asked to report on their activities and, if possible, to present at the Annual Alliance Meeting.