Mentoring, as a planned activity, has undergone a spectacular expansion in North America, the UK and other countries over the past two decades. It has become an integral aspect of initial education and continuing professional development in business management, teaching, healthcare and many other fields. It has also become especially popular with policy-makers as an intervention with disadvantaged young people. Mentoring for social inclusion has drawn hundreds of thousands of professional practitioners and volunteers into mentor roles with such youngsters. The very word ‘mentor’ has acquired a mythical status, suggesting almost superhuman powers to transform the mentee in the face of all odds.