Mentoring FAQs

Supporting your conversations

The initial focus should be on getting to know each other and collaboratively establishing mentoring goals. Understanding your mentee's context, level of knowledge, and experience is crucial. Considering mentees may vary in their understanding of the benefits of regular mentoring and their goals, take the lead and suggest themes and topics to explore together.

Share some information about yourself, including your profession, and background. This helps your mentees get to know you better Engage your mentees by asking questions about their subjects of study, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and interests. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of their individual interests and experiences.

Remember: each young person may have unique aspirations, ranging from acquiring job-seeking skills and exploring long-term career paths, to not knowing what’s next. This means their goals may vary.

We expect you to respond to messages reasonably promptly, within three days of receiving a message under normal circumstances. However, if you anticipate being unavailable for an extended period, it's important to let your mentee or the Brightside team know in advance.

It's important to consider your mentees' preferences and attention span. It might help to cover one point at a time or asking single questions, even if you know you might have follow-up questions. Many mentees use the app rather than the website so are accessing mentoring via their phone. This means longer messages are harder to read and write so we’d recommend keeping messages relatively short.

If your mentee is not responding to your messages, there are a few things you can do:

  • Send a short message checking in on them and reminding them you are there. Sometimes mentees are busy and simply forget to respond to a message, so this will remind them
  • Send them a message regularly, to check in and let them know you're still there for them
  • If your mentee is going through a busy time, they may not be able to engage as much as they normally would. This could be due to needing to focus on revision, exams, or holiday. Be understanding of their situation and offer your support
  • Sometimes mentees need time to process information or to think about a question, so give them a few days to respond

Ask meaningful questions that can support productive conversations. Here are some questions you can ask to encourage engaging and insightful discussions:

  • Ask about their current goals and see how they're progressing
  • Share a personal experience that relates to them/their situation. This can help build trust and show that you understand what they're going through
  • Ask about their interests outside of school. This could help to spark a conversation and give you a better understanding of what they're interested in and help you link it to skills
  • Ask them how they manage their time and stay organised with schoolwork, assignments, and other responsibilities 

As a mentor, it can be challenging when you're asked a question that you're not sure how to answer. It's important to remember that you don't have to know everything, and that seeking help is a normal part of learning and growing. Being honest and transparent with your mentee will help to create a supportive and trusting relationship. 

 

Here are a few things you can do when you're unsure of how to respond to your mentee's question:

  • If you're not sure what your mentee is asking, ask for more information or context to help you understand the question better
  • Use reliable sources such as books, articles, and websites from reputable organisations
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help from others if you can't find the answer. If you're not an expert in the topic, seek help from someone who is. You can refer to experts in the field and reach out to them yourself to get more information
  • Encourage your mentee to research the answer to the question and discuss with them the process and strategies for researching a question

If you still can't find an answer, it's okay to tell your mentee that you're not sure and that you'll keep looking for an answer and contact the Brightside support team.

Sharing contact details, social media, files and links

Our rules are in place to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all users. These rules include:

  • No sharing contact details such as emails, phone numbers, and addresses
  • No sharing social media details
  • No sharing surnames
  • No using inappropriate language, emojis, or sending kisses
  • Do not arrange to meet outside the platform

If a message you send violates any of these guidelines, it may be declined. If that happens, you will receive an explanation telling you why it was declined, and you can edit and resend the message if necessary. These rules help maintain a positive and secure experience for everyone involved. 

All mentoring activities should only take place on the Brightside platform. Meeting outside the platform is not permitted, as our mentoring is primarily conducted online. Exceptions for in-person sessions, organised by us or our partner organisation, will be communicated at the start of the programme. 

Sending live documents that can be edited (like Google Drive links) is not permitted. We need to make sure all communication takes place on the Brightside platform and not on external websites or software. This is to ensure your safety. Download your document and send as an attachment or copy and paste the contents into the message box.

Yes! As long as the link is trusted, appropriate, and meets our safety rules, you can send them from any site. All links will be checked by a member of the support team.

  • Links must not be editable by the user receiving the link
  • Links must not contain personal contact details

CVs and personal statements can be shared between users, if they do not contain any personal contact details (including surnames, emails, phone numbers and addresses) or social media. Send as attachments by clicking on the paperclip icon above the message box. All attachments will be checked by a member of the support team.

Sharing your personal social media is not permitted on the Brightside platform. This is for the protection of everyone's safety and welfare.

All communication must take place on the Brightside app/platform.

If a mentee or mentor has shared their personal contact details, you must contact us through the Support Team chat immediately and we will advise you on any next steps. Do not add or share your social media with them unless authorised by the Support Team.