Apply for mentoring

The Arts Mentoring Programme was established to provide one to one professional structured support to marginalised artists and writers.
During the agreed contract period the programme aims to:
  • Professional development – Creative (learn to analyse and critically evaluate your own work)
  • Professional development – IT skills (know how to send attachments via email, present work professionally, create and use an email account, create a personal website or blog)
  • Work published/exhibited
  • Earn income through creative work
  • Volunteer experience in the Creative Industries
  • Further Education as a result of programme (inc evening classes)
  • Gain employment as a result of the programme
  • Financial advice on furthering creative development (info on funding sources, training bursaries etc)
The actual mentoring relationship will be different with every mentee, some may want exercises and feedback on their work, some will just want encouragement, and some will require more practical advice and support. It is up to both the mentee and mentor to discuss what the mentee needs and what the mentor will provide at the first meeting.  There is a small budget to pay for some materials/equipment/activities to be agreed with the Project Coordinator.
What is the criteria for Mentees?
In order to be considered for mentoring by the Prison Arts Foundation, applicants need to:
  1. Have had some involvement with the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. They may be
    • currently serving a sentence in any of the Northern Ireland prisons; HMP Maghaberry, HMP Magilligan or Hydebank College, or
    • have been sentenced to probation supervision with the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.
    • have previously served a custodial or community-based sentence in Northern Ireland.
  2. Demonstrate a talent and motivation to further their interest in the arts. We will seek to support creative mentees who might like to participate in arts activity in the community – either as a regular leisure pursuit, or those who might have a reasonable possibility of undertaking training, education, volunteering or employment in the arts.
  3. Have enough practical and social support in the community from family, friends or other services to be able to make use of arts mentoring without being overwhelmed by more pressing needs such as homelessness or drug use. We will include offenders with some high levels of need – partly because such needs often lead to some dynamic artistic creativity. We will do this through partnership with other resettlement services that can meet offenders’ social needs while the PAF mentor focuses on the arts. But we don’t want to set the mentees up to fail. There will be some artistically talented offenders who cannot make use of the mentoring because they pose too much of a risk to themselves or to others, or because their lives are simply too chaotic.
  4. To identify these offenders, the PAF staff will seek references from either the Prison Offender Supervisor or Community Offender Manager, or another professional referee who has worked with the mentee.
  5. Be willing and enthusiastic to participate in the project, and to commit to meeting their mentor for regular mentoring sessions. The number of sessions will be dictated by whether the mentee receives mentoring under the First Step or Creative Future pathway. The commitment levels will be agreed on an individual basis with the mentee.
How do I apply for PAF Mentoring?
If you’re interested in being mentored, you can download an application form below, and send it to the Programme Team at PAF.  Alternatively, you can request a paper copy.  We will write to you when we’ve received your application and ask a referee to support your participation in the mentoring scheme.
If you have any questions, please give us a ring on 02890247872, or email us at
Leaflet for Mentee
Arts Mentoring Programme Information for Mentee
Arts Mentoring Application form for Mentee