Theory of Change

Academic research shows that mentoring helps young people develop the confidence, knowledge and soft skills they need to succeed in their education and careers.

By giving young people from all backgrounds access to networks of advice and support, mentoring also drives social mobility.

Our Theory of Change shows that online mentoring helps young people to make confident and informed decisions by developing:

Our Theory of Change is based on an extensive review of evidence, consultation with mentoring experts, our own lessons from many years of delivery, and – most importantly – input from young people, their mentors and our partners.

We have developed quality and impact frameworks to measure these outcomes for young people. We use scales which are tried and tested by respected organisations, and those which are academically verified, to ensure our evaluations are consistent and robust. This means we can constantly review and improve our work’s impact.

“Brightside is sector-leading in its deep commitment to effective and robust evaluation. They have built a detailed approach to evaluation based upon a fully-developed Theory of Change, which is embedded in and informed by their mentoring practice and delivery. I am particularly impressed by their evidence-based practice, the approach they have taken, and the way they continually test and develop their own evaluation tools and methodology to improve delivery. Brightside is a shining light in the sector, and has much by way of example to offer us HE-based outreach evaluators.” Dr. Julian Crockford, Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit Manager, University of Sheffield



The Brightside programme has really helped me because it has set realistic goals for me in what I can achieve and I feel confident and comfortable in being able to achieve this and more! In addition the programme has guided me to where I want to go in the future in terms of university and my future profession. This means I feel confident I will achieve the best I can with strong backing from the scheme.