We connect young people facing barriers with inspiring mentors

We connect young people facing barriers with inspiring mentors

All young people deserve equal opportunities

Our mentors share their experience and insights, giving young people a different perspective from home or school. Our mission is to connect more young people with inspiring role models to help them make confident and informed decisions about their future.

EXPERIENCE

We’ve been engaging young people with digital mentoring for almost twenty years

TECHNOLOGY

We use a bespoke, constantly evolving platform that puts safeguarding at its core

REACH

Our platform has provided 150,000 young people so far with a high-quality mentoring experience

QUALITY

We know our mentoring is high quality because of the results of our robust evaluation frameworks

OUTCOMES

Our mentoring has both deep and long lasting impact. Our mentees are 2x more likely to access university than their peers

Mentee stories

Simran’s story

I always wonder whether I’d be thinking or feeling the same about university if there wasn’t a pandemic. I completely lost that in-person interaction and was struggling with the UCAS application because of it. But then, if there hadn’t been the pandemic, I wouldn’t have been able to do the virtual work experience and use the Brightside platform.

Rano’s story

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer but I was concerned about the workload. My mentor was a working lawyer, so not only gave me advice about my UCAS application and interview questions, but also reassured me that you don’t need to overwork yourself to be successful. He told me about his personal experience of finding balance and saying no, and reminded me how important enjoying your free time is.

Daniel’s story

I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to do after GCSE and I had no idea where to start. I was interested in aviation, zoology and conservation but after that I was lost. I didn’t know if you needed a degree or an apprenticeship and I wasn’t sure which path to choose. Mentoring was a very useful tool to help with this; it gave me a push to start looking at new things.

Aliza’s story

Mentoring was so important for me, especially during a lockdown where you only see the people you already know. You get to connect with someone you’d never speak to outside of school and that’s really important because it forces you out of your comfort zone.

Caitlin’s story

My mentor was lovely; we bonded over our pets and that made me feel more connected to her. She made me feel calmer about applying via UCAS and the interviews process. It was so easy to talk to her because she’s not much older than me.

Tahmina’s story

If I had to describe my mentor in one word, I’d say amazing. She did the same A Levels as me so she also sent me her notes from Chemistry which were amazing; I’m still using them.

We turned to Brightside because they’re well known in the mentoring field for their online intervention. With their strong focus on safeguarding and their platform’s content library of study skills, they were exactly what we were looking for.

Education Liaison and Outreach Manager at Middlesex University

I found mentoring to be a positive experience: it made me feel more confident and it was really rewarding. I loved feeling like I was making a difference.

Laura, Mentor

I’d recommend mentoring to anyone: I’ve already got my brother involved. Sharing your knowledge can make a big impact on a person’s life.

Olivia, Mentor

I had a great experience on this project. I thought the Brightside platform was very, very good for an online mentoring experience. I expected it to be a bit dry but it wasn’t; you could access it on the phone or the mac and it was all seamless.

Steve, Mentor

The Brightside team are amazing. Any time we had questions or concerns, they were so supportive.

Deputy Head of Widening Participation at the University of Cambridge

Anyone thinking of mentoring should absolutely go for it; I was worried I wouldn’t have a lot to offer but you always have more to offer than you think. It isn’t about knowing all the answers, it’s about being a sounding board and coming up with a solution together. The impact you can have on someone’s life is huge.

Eleanor, mentor

News and events

Widening participation podcast appearance

Last month, our CEO Laura Gray spoke to Tim Roe of PURSUE (Practitioners from Underrepresented Sections

Meet our Youth Board

Listening to young people is a crucial part of how we design and deliver programmes.

New collaborative programme for young disabled people  

Young disabled people face a multitude of challenges; they’re twice as likely as their non-disabled peers

Our mentors use their experience and knowledge to help young people understand their options.

We facilitate the experiences, but it's the mentors who make them a success.

Could you make a difference to a young person who might not have a role model?

https://brightside.org.uk/volunteer/

Brightside: explained

As part of our website rebuild, we worked with @BraveNewBeast to create a video that shows what we're all about, how our programmes work and our impact.

Give it a watch 📺

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjzezKqKJHM

📢Calling all university #WideningParticipation teams

If you're considering a mentoring programme, it's definitely worth reading what the Deputy Head of Widening Participation at @Cambridge_Uni had to say on pages 14 and 15 of our impact report.

🔗https://brightside.org.uk/impact-reports/impact-report-2022/

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Contact us

Get in touch for more programme information, to work with us, or discover more about our work.