The mentor-mentee relationship focuses on professional and personal development, with the mentor providing advice, guidance and support to the mentee within the learning structure of the MRL Programme.

There are five mentors for the Programme; Stephen Feber, Nick Winterbotham, Dawn Yates Obe, Mandy Sims and Andrew Lovett.  You have a chance to meet them, talk with them and see them in action at the first residential; on the third day of the residential you choose your mentor and set up your first mentorial (90 minutes) which is normally 4-6 weeks after the residential. The first mentorial nearly always occurs at your place of work. 

When the Programme is running you are free to get in touch with your mentor at any time for help, advice and support. There are two further mentorials, one following your Overseas Study Visit and one at the end of the Programme.

MENTORING framework

Mentorials are designed to be in the service of your personal and professional development; they can be wide ranging or centred on a specific issue or upcoming event.


At both residential retreats, MRL provides two additional coaches, Arnie Skelton and Dawn Yates-Obe, which means there is a coaching support team of five. Both Dawn and Arnie are highly experienced personal development trainers in the cultural and commercial sectors. Specific exercises at the residentials and during the MRL year provide opportunities to receive coaching feedback and support; for example handling a presentation to your Board or Committee, dealing with a difficult employee or making an important external presentation.  You can request individual coaching during the residentials or during your mentorials.

Several workshops provide coaching exercises and opportunities in a group setting.


MRL runs a three step process for each workshop:

  • Briefing and support materials are sent out by email 1-2 weeks ahead of the workshop. This material is also available online for participants via the shared Google Drive system

  • The workshop itself, which runs to circulated agenda

  • Post event follow-up and analysis

Each workshop has an online evaluation process which re-caps topics covered in the workshop, assesses the support material and helps reinforce learning. In light of this feedback, we review all of the workshop structures carefully and make adjustments to the Programme if required. We also note topics for discussion at mentorials with individual mentees, as appropriate.  The Arts Council receives a summary of the evaluations in regular reports.


The Programme runs under a modified version of the 'Chatham House Rule'. The Rule states:

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

On MRL this means the freedom to use knowledge gained during the Programme and to apply methods and tips gleaned from the wealth of material offered.  It does not mean the freedom to break confidences.

We provide three levels of information exchange and conversation:

  1. Conversations with your mentor are private to you both. They are a place for confidential reflection. You will be offered feedback and coaching designed to support and stretch you by your mentor by phone, email or in the face-to-face meetings.

  2. Google Drive. MRL administration at the Black Country Living Museum posts all learning materials, briefings and instructions on Google Drive, which is accessible only by the MRL cohort.

  3. Learning materials, pre workshop exercises and briefing notes are also sent out via email.


The programme’s procedures are GDPR compliant.

End of the PROGRAMME

All individual feedback questionnaires are provided to participants at the end of the Programme as a PDF file.  In addition a record of the PPL entries is provided.  These documents accompany the Certificate of Completion.

MRL and you