AN organisation offering one-to-one support and mentoring to Somerset businesses has returned to full capacity after reducing its activities through the pandemic. 

Cornerstone Mentoring was founded in 2014 as a not-for-profit organisation offering free support to Somerset small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The service is provided by a group of volunteer business owners and managers - most of whom are retired - who want to use their experience to help pre-start and early-start businesses in the county. 

Cornerstone is supported by Somerset's councils and has helped over 400 businesses in the last eight years. 

After the outbreak of Covid, demand for business mentoring declined and Cornerstone reduced its operation to a maintenance level.

Demand has since risen after the UK emerged from Covid lockdowns.

Cornerstone co-founders John Harris and David Lewis are confident now is the time to return to its previous capacity. 

John said: “The time is right to ramp up our activities. We are ready to offer our help to encourage Somerset businesses to thrive again.”

Somerset County Gazette: Somerset businesses can access free support and mentoring with Cornerstone. Picture: PixabaySomerset businesses can access free support and mentoring with Cornerstone. Picture: Pixabay

Lynda Armstrong OBE, an experienced business leader living in Wells, has joined John and David to help the service expand.

She said: “We are keen to recruit more mentors, so if you are an experienced business owner or manager who is interested in volunteering to help local businesses, then we would love to hear from you.”

Cornerstone Mentoring is a free, no-obligation service available to any committed business owner including early-start sole traders.

Full details about how business mentoring works and how to apply for a mentor, can be found on the Cornerstone website.

Small business owners who would like some help or a mentor should email