What a year it’s been for Brightside!
So many things have happened across the year to support our mission of helping young people to make confident and informed decisions about their future through our online mentoring programmes.
Let’s take a look at the events that have made 2022 such a memorable one for Brightside.
We had our first in-person team day for ages in February! New team members that joined during the pandemic met their fellow Brightsiders for the first time and commented on how much taller/shorter everyone is in real life.
In March, we held our first ever career game, developed in partnership with Causeway Education. The game lets groups of Year 7 and 8 pupils meet employees in a variety of healthcare roles, asking questions to guess their career and find out about their journey. It was a huge success and we’ve had over 2,000 students take part since.
We also appointed our new Youth Board in March. We did this to make sure we were listening and learning from young people, as well as offering them a meaningful development experience. We had over 20 applicants aged 16 to 20 (both former mentees and people completely new to Brightside). We chose nine brilliant young people to work with. Meet them here!
Fast forward to a very busy summer for our comms team! We received a grant from the Digital Impact Fund from the Social Business Trust supported by the Permira Foundation. Following six months of working with design agency Northern Bear, we set our new website live at the end of June. We’re very grateful for the opportunity to improve our website to something that better reflects our organisation and gives visitors a clear sense of what we do and why. Six months later, and we still absolutely love it!
Hot on the heels of the website was the 2022 Impact Report, published in July. Our data shows that we matched over 11,000 young people with an inspiring mentor. It also highlights that our mentoring supported confident decision making and access and success in higher education. Alongside our usual robust evaluation, we included a particular focus on the stories young people told us about their experience of mentoring.
In the new academic year, we published our first annual report for our Spotlight programme to mark its inaugural year. It charts the successes and learnings and shows what’s next for this pioneering careers programme for schools.
In October, we marked National Mentoring Day by handing the keys to our social media to our Youth Board. They posted videos, photos, reels and blogs about their experience of mentoring and gave advice for other young people. Here’s a summary of the day.
Our Bright Carers programme won the Young Carers Award at the Children and Young People Now awards in November! Our CEO Laura attended the ceremony, along with Emma, our Head of Business Development and Sophie, who worked on the programme as a Projects Manager. It’s great to be recognised for the impact the mentoring programme had on everyone involved.
We’re celebrating the things we’ve achieved this year because of the impact they’ll go on to have on young people. The more potential partners who read our reports, the more funding we receive, the more young people we’re able to support with high-impact online mentoring.
We’ll continue to tell young people’s stories in 2023 and want to thank everyone we’ve worked with this year who undoubtedly contributed to making this year a success.