Leaders of community organisations and social enterprises have the opportunity to be part of a six-month mentoring pilot programme in Whanganui.

Nicola Patrick, of social enterprise hub and incubator Thrive Whanganui, is running the programme in partnership with the Mentoring Foundation and with funding from The Tindall Foundation.

"I've been trying to grow a social enterprise community in Whanganui," Patrick said.

"After the Thrive Whanganui Expo earlier this year, I started looking at the next thing forward. One thing that is definitely needed is growing people's ability to lead initiatives.

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"I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Mentoring Foundation who were looking for partners to a pilot mentoring programme for leaders in the not-for-profit community."

Thrive Whanganui was chosen as one of three pilot programme partners, with the others in Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.

"It's very much a pilot and is designed to support and assist in the not-for-profit leadership space," Patrick said.

"It's not about bottom lines that are the traditional business focus."

Patrick aims to have 10 mentors and 10 mentees on the pilot programme but said she would also trial having more than one mentee from an organisation matched with a mentor.

"Not-for-profits don't have the traditional hierarchical structure so there are different types of leadership and you could have a chief executive and another staff member from the same organisation working with one mentor."

The six-month programme runs from July to December and requires a minimum of one meeting per month for one to two hours.

"It sets the focus of the conversation and accountability for making progress at the right level," Patrick said.

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"The six months, rather than a 12-month period, creates intensity and real focus.

"It's about community building and creating connections. We will be bringing those 20 people together, realising we all have something to help each other. The difference between a mentor and a mentee is very fine and I hope our mentees will go on to become mentors and our mentors may be mentees in the future. Everyone needs a mentor."

Patrick said her aim was to continue the programme so if the timing of the pilot programme did not suit, people could contact her to register their interest in future programmes.

"These 20 people will be the core of something that keeps growing," she said.

There are still a few spaces left on the pilot programme and registrations close on Sunday, June 24. To register go to www.mentoringfoundation.org.nz or Thrive Whanganui on Facebook or contact Nicola Patrick on 027 871 6459.