I don’t mean a mate whom you chat with now and then. I mean a person who will really push you, ask all the hard questions and educate you with specialist knowledge.

I’d always used mentors without actually realising it. I was one of those people who used to ask ‘How do you do that?’ to anyone I found interesting. When I was in my early twenties I was made a member of the British Youth Council. After the third meeting I attended I had a proposal I wanted to put to the council. Amazingly, it wasn’t passed, but there were a record number of abstentions. I asked some other members why this had happened and the consensus seemed to be that I was a nice guy but when I stood up to speak most of the other members couldn’t understand me. ...

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