When Zing came to the UK from the Democratic Republic of Congo as a refugee he had been separated from his family and was placed in foster care. He was referred to Grandmentors by Independent Futures; Islington Council’s leaving care service when he was 21. Zing was struggling at university when he joined the project; he had financial and housing problems and didn’t have much confidence. Regular meetings helped Tess to understand the issues that Zing was facing. Zing was able to take control of his life and get things back on track.

Zing said: “I was so lonely in the UK and to find someone I feel comfortable with and can ask advice has been amazing. The feeling of belonging was lost for me and now I have found it again thanks to Tess.”

Tess, his mentor, said: “The experience of mentoring Zing is incredibly rewarding. I can safely say that Zing has been worth every moment of effort on my part. Zing is a joy and to see him develop in confidence and shine as he does now is simply wonderful.”