Mentoring Scheme


In common with all photo clubs, the NCPS needs to maintain a healthy level of membership, in our case at least 50 members. We have initiatives in place to attract new members, but it is equally important to retain them once they have joined.

The mentor scheme is intended to ensure that new members do not feel ‘lost’ within the club. It does this by assigning to each new member an experienced member who can help them through the initial stages until they feel fully part of the club.


  1. To boost club membership by maximizing the likelihood of retaining new members.
  2. To set new members on the road to improving their images.

The mentoring scheme is not intended as a photographic training programme, although it should help new members learn some of the basics if they don’t know them already.


All new members will be offered a mentor, although they are not obliged to accept one.


Mentors do not need to be award-winning photographers (although knowing a bit more than the basics helps).

All members who are active and who have been in the Club for two years or more can be mentors, although they may decline if they wish.

Rationale: if the role were restricted to committee members only, there might not be enough of them to ‘go around’, and it would make committee membership even more of a burden. Relatively recent members may well remember what it was like to be ‘the new kid on the block’, however members of less than two years standing may not know enough about the club to be able to answer any queries.

Mentors would not normally be expected to mentor more than one person at once.

Assigning Mentors to Mentees

This will be done by the membership secretary, attempting where possible to match the interests of both, and ideally have them in close geographic proximity to facilitate meeting up. To this end, the membership secretary will maintain a database of members’ interests and skills. Once a mentor and mentee have both agreed to the pairing, the membership secretary will facilitate the exchange of contact details and record the pairing.

Rationale: it is important to ensure that both the mentor and mentee are both happy with the match and agree to sharing contact details. We should, as a club, know who is mentoring whom.

Mentoring Activities

This will vary depending on the experience and interests of the mentee, but would typically include:

  • Basic explanation of how the club functions, meeting times, use of Zoom, talks, competitions, shoots, role of the committee etc.
  • Checking that club emails are getting through.
  • Ensuring that the mentee is introduced to other club members at the first meetings.
  • Exploring the mentee’s interests and helping them clarify what they are hoping to achieve in their photography.
  • Giving basic advice on items such as choice of equipment, editing software etc.
  • Explaining the alphabet soup of NCPS, ISO, L&CPU, PDI, IBIS, PAGB, RPS etc
  • Encouraging mentees to enter our competitions. Explain how they run, what sort of things judges might be looking for, how to submit entries and how to take any feedback the judges might give.
  • Signposting individuals in the club who can give expert help with more specialised topics (wildlife, street, sports, landscape, creative, advanced processing, competitions and awards etc) and making the relevant introductions.
  • Gathering information on the mentee’s first impressions of the club and/or suggestions for improvement and forwarding these to the committee.
  • Touching base with the mentee if they seem to be missing club activities.

Mentors are encouraged to meet up with their mentees on a regular basis at least in the early stages.

Safeguarding Issues

In general, new members tend not to be minors or vulnerable people so safeguarding issues should not arise. However, if there is any concern, the membership secretary should seek the advice of the committee initially.