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Online support and mentoring for children

Illuminate your child’s path to growth with Youth Empowerment and Support (Y.E.S) mentoring —nurturing trust, boosting self-esteem, and fostering resilience in your child.

Over 6-12 weeks, we delve into topics from goal setting to coping skills.

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How Y.E.S Mentoring works

Our Youth Empowerment and Support Service (Y.E.S.) offers online, light-touch mentoring designed for children aged 11 to 18 from Bedfordshire.

Each mentee receives up to 12 weekly sessions with our trained mentors, lasting 40-50 minutes. These sessions provide a safe and supportive environment for young people to openly discuss their feelings and challenges while gaining valuable skills.

While parental attendance is welcomed, research suggests that young people may feel more comfortable sharing their concerns without parental presence. If you believe your child requires your attendance, please specify in the referral form. However, we encourage gradual independence to foster confidence in your child during sessions.

A young boy writing in a notebook.

* Our Y.E.S Mentoring is our first steps to expanding our geographical reach. Our eventual plans are to expand this initiative nationally to make our services even more accessible.

Child-Centered Discussion Areas

In addition to providing a secure environment for young individuals to openly express and navigate their emotions and obstacles, our program offers valuable skills and strategies to facilitate their personal development. Each session is tailored to meet individual requirements, addressing a variety of topics such as:

We understand that sometimes, children and young people need an outside perspective to navigate the challenges life throws their way. Our mentors provide a safe and supportive environment where mentees can share their thoughts, concerns, and feelings confidentially.

We equip children with healthy ways to handle stress and challenges. Through these sessions, they will learn effective coping strategies that will serve them throughout their lives.

Staying present, focused, and calm is crucial for overall well-being. We teach mindfulness techniques that help young individuals develop essential skills for emotional regulation.

Recognising and nurturing children’s strengths is an integral part of our program. We empower them to build self-confidence and resilience, preparing them for a bright future.

Fostering positivity and appreciation for life’s small joys is at the heart of our program. We help young individuals focus on the good things in life and maintain a positive outlook.

We believe in empowering children to pursue and achieve their dreams. Our mentors work with mentees to set goals and develop the skills and strategies necessary to turn those dreams into reality.

I like it when Tasha comes to work with me. It makes me feel good and fun, and I like to talk about my feelings and why I get angry a lot.

Year 5 ADHD Student Bedfordshire

We see every child

At BrightPaths, we believe in early intervention for mental health. This is based on the principle that it is better to prevent mental health problems from developing than it is to treat them once they have developed.

Every child and young person deserves a safe and confidential space where they can express themselves, gain valuable coping skills, and achieve their dreams.

That’s why we built our Y.E.S Mentoring, designed to make a lasting impact on young lives.

How can I access Y.E.S Mentoring?

We are delighted to accept referrals from parents, guardians, students aged 16 and older, schools, and professionals. To submit your referral online, click here and select Y.E.S. Mentoring from the service list; we will process the information and send out booking instructions within a few days.

At Bright Paths, we prioritise accessibility, giving particular attention to referrals from children facing additional challenges, including those with SEN (Special Educational Needs) and Looked-after Children, as well as other vulnerable groups such as those experiencing emotional-based school avoidance or identified as Pupil Premium and Young Carers. We recognise the unique hurdles these young individuals face and are dedicated to providing them with the support they rightfully deserve.

Request our YES Referral Form

Our mentors embody empathy, resilience, and kindness, and through our Y.E.S program, we are excited to continue empowering children and young people to tackle life’s challenges with confidence.

Please note: While we are dedicated to helping as many children and young people as possible, resources and funding are limited. As such, two missed sessions (unless we are given notice) will result in the withdrawal of support. We encourage active participation and effective communication to make the most of this valuable program.

Additional family services

A man having a serious conversation with a young boy.

We offer complimentary telephone consultations to parents and guardians. These sessions serve not only to discuss our services and their potential benefits for your child but also to provide guidance on finding services better suited to your needs, advice on supporting your child at home, and strategies for engaging with schools to enhance support for your child.

Join our online workshops tailored to address the pressing concerns of parents seeking resources and guidance to support their children. From deepening your understanding of teenage mental health to effective support strategies, our insightful workshops cater to your specific needs. Stay updated on upcoming workshops by following our news page and social media channels for announcements.

We recognise that remote support may not be suitable for everyone. That’s why we also offer outreach support within school settings, providing a more direct and targeted approach for individuals who may require it. We’re committed to collaborating with your child’s school to ensure they support your referral and provide a conducive environment for our work.

This service is not funded; parents or the school must cover associated costs. However, we offer subsidies in some instances. Contact us for further details when you reach out.

Frequently asked Y.E.S questions

Some schools and individuals may be eligible for free or highly discounted support, depending upon the funding opportunities available.

Your initial discovery meeting is completely free, so please get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and we can give you an accurate quote and let you know if there are any funding options available.

Schools may consider using pupil premium to fund BrightPaths Provision. (Therapy, counselling and specialist provision are recognised uses of pupil premium.) For more information, view our Price List.

Alternatively, If your school urgently requires mental health support for your students in the wake of the pandemic, you can apply for up to £4,000 worth of mental health provision from within the Now and Beyond community of approved and vetted providers. Now and Beyond has launched the UK’s first online database of approved mental health and wellbeing providers for young people. It’s a one-stop shop for educators searching for local provisions and BrightPaths are proud to be a part of it. Apply for funding here.

Accessing our services is simple. You can refer a child through schools, local authorities, or professionals (school outreach) or opt for self-referral (Y.E.S. Mentoring). We’ve also made our referral form available directly through our website.

Upon receiving a completed referral form, a booking email is sent to the provided email address on the referral form. The child can then, independently or with support, book their initial appointment at a convenient time. Subsequently, a dedicated mentor is matched with the mentee to provide ongoing support and guidance through regular one-to-one sessions. During the initial session, the mentor and mentee spend time getting to know each other and conducting an initial assessment to understand the needs and goals of the mentee.

Each weekly session lasts between 40-50 minutes. The duration of the Y.E.S. Mentoring program varies depending on the needs and progress of the mentee. Typically, the program lasts between 6 and 12 sessions with a review at the 6-week and 9-week periods.

Currently, Y.E.S. Mentoring is funded through grants and donations, allowing us to offer the program to families at no cost. However, as funding is competitive, we do ask parents/guardians to contribute financially if they are able to do so through our donations page. Even a very low amount can make a difference; every little helps. This ensures continued accessibility for all in need.

A Y.E.S Mentor provides a safe and supportive space for mentees to explore their thoughts, feelings, and challenges. They offer practical strategies, emotional support, and encouragement to help mentees develop coping skills, build resilience, and achieve their goals.

Sessions can be amended and postponed using the login created when the initial session was booked, details of which are provided in the booking instructions. We understand that from time to time, there will be events that occur preventing this from happening, but just let us know as soon as you can through the app or by emailing support@brightpaths.org.uk. In the event of two consecutive missed sessions or where no contact has been made for two missed sessions, support will be withdrawn to ensure that children who need support can access it.

Y.E.S. Mentoring, short for “Youth Empowerment & Support”, is our specialised online service designed to provide personalised one-to-one support and guidance to children and young people aged 11+. Unlike other services, Y.E.S. offers light touch support focusing on the specific needs and goals of each individual. Participants in the Y.E.S. Mentoring program meet with their mentor weekly to work towards SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) and have a safe place to talk, be heard, and explore current difficulties.

Our team comprises highly experienced professionals with expertise in child development, psychology, counselling, and related fields. Each member undergoes a DBS check and holds safeguarding and child protection training. Additionally, our staff regularly participate in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) activities, including courses such as Mental Health First Aid, Child Sexual Exploitation, Introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and Early Trauma, as well as the Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health, among others. Rest assured, your child is in safe hands.

Y.E.S Mentoring is available for children and young people aged 11 to 18 (up to 24 for those with Special Educational Needs) residing in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Luton, and their surrounding areas. We have set the age range at 11 and above due to the online nature of our support program and the potential challenges younger children may face in engaging without physical resources. If your child falls outside of this geographic area, they may still be able to access our service for a small fee. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for further information.

Absolutely. At BrightPaths, we understand the challenges parents face when seeking support for their children’s mental health. That’s why we’re here to offer effective interventions that have been proven to make a real difference in children’s and young people’s lives.

Our interventions, whether in person or virtual, are designed to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing. Through data analysis, we’ve consistently seen significant positive changes in children’s outcomes. From improved self-esteem to better coping mechanisms, our programs empower children to thrive.

But what truly sets BrightPaths apart is our dedication to your child’s success. We work closely with each individual, setting personalised goals and targets to ensure progress. Our track record speaks for itself—our service users consistently praise the impact we’ve had on their children’s lives.

Of course, we understand that support, particularly online sessions, may feel unfamiliar. That’s why we emphasise the importance of your child’s willingness to engage with our mentors. Rest assured, our sessions are designed to be interactive, engaging, and ultimately transformative – but they can only work if your child is open to receiving support.

If you’re ready to take the next step in supporting your child’s mental wellbeing, BrightPaths is here for you. Together, we can provide the guidance and resources your child needs to thrive.

While both support avenues support children and young people, mentoring, therapy, and counselling have different processes and purposes:

Mentoring:

  • Focus: Empowering young people to thrive by building confidence, developing life skills, and achieving goals.
  • Setting: Informal and flexible, often in community-based settings like schools or online.
  • Approach: Solution-oriented, helping young people identify their strengths and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Relationship: Longer-term, supportive connection with a positive role model who provides guidance and encouragement.
  • Examples: Developing self-esteem and communication skills, navigating social challenges, setting academic goals, managing stress and anxiety, and exploring talents and interests.

Counselling &Therapy:

  • Focus: Treating specific mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or trauma.
  • Setting: Clinical or professional environment often with long waiting lists and high thresholds for statutory support.
  • Approach: Diagnostic and therapeutic, using evidence-based techniques to address underlying issues.
  • Relationship: Professional interaction with a qualified therapist.
  • Examples: Processing past experiences, managing emotional difficulties, and learning coping strategies for moderate to severe mental health conditions.

Think of it this way:

  • Mentoring: Helps young people build resilience and reach their full potential.
  • Therapy: Focuses on treating specific mental health concerns.

BrightPaths offers mentoring programs that complement therapy, providing a safe space for young people to grow and thrive.

At Bright Paths, we understand that parents, caregivers, or teachers may wish to be present during mentoring sessions. However, it’s essential to consider the impact this might have on the mentoring dynamic. Research indicates that young people may feel less inclined to share their concerns if a parent or caregiver is present. Therefore, while we acknowledge the initial desire for parental support, our mentoring sessions are designed to offer one-on-one support for young people in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

If you believe your child needs your presence during mentoring sessions, please indicate this in the referral form. We understand that accessing external support may be a significant step for some young people, and we can make accommodations to ensure their comfort and well-being. However, we encourage you to assist them in logging into their session and finding a comfortable space before giving them some privacy. It’s essential to gradually allow your child to develop confidence and independence during sessions, enabling them to express themselves and discover their own voice.

If you, as a parent, are seeking support, we recommend booking a consultation with one of our mentors or behaviour consultants, who can offer additional assistance.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in ensuring the best possible support for your child.

Participation in the Y.E.S. Mentoring program can lead to improved emotional well-being, increased self-esteem, enhanced coping skills, and better overall resilience. Mentees may also experience improvements in academic performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life. At the very least, the mentee will develop the emotional literacy to talk about their challenges with a safe and trusted mentor who gives them the time and space to be heard and express themselves.

Get in touch

While we exclusively accept referrals from schools and professionals for therapeutic support and workshops, parents, guardians and students aged 16 and older can self-refer to YES mentoring. Contact us now for a no-obligation consultation to see how we can best help.

Contact us