Breakthrough Digital Mentoring Guide for Young People

Staying connected – apart!

We know things have been a bit difficult recently, so while schools are closed we have been working on bringing you alternative ways to stay connected to Breakthrough, digitally!

Building relationships, talking to others and getting the right support are more important than ever.  Because of this, we are offering our young people some new ways to stay in contact.

As before, you can continue to phone, text, email or WhatsApp your School Coordinator, but, to make things a bit more interesting we want to give you the opportunity to ‘Google Meet’ your School Coordinator and/or Mentor.

How to take part in Breakthrough Digital Mentoring

We can’t automatically assume that you will want to meet your mentor online or that every method of communication with your Breakthrough School Coordinator or Mentor suits. It’s important that we follow these important steps to get it right:

  1. Share with you the details of our digital mentoring plan and explain the ways we would like to stay in touch (more details below)
  2. Ask your parent/carers to read the separate guide and provide permission for you to participate in digital mentoring
  3. Ask for your permission to participate in digital mentoring (Young People, please click this link to complete consent)
  4. Develop a plan that tells us how you would like to connect with your mentor, how often and what days and times suit you best. This is your Personal Engagement Plan and your school coordinator will discuss this with you if you tell us you are happy to take part.

Ways you can currently stay in touch with Breakthrough:

All Breakthrough young people can currently stay in touch with their school coordinator by email, text, WhatsApp or phone call

We would also like to provide you with the chance to share an update or message with your mentor – this will be passed on by your school coordinator – reply messages will also be shared via your school coordinator.  Mentors and mentees cannot contact one another directly.

What you will need:

You must have access to the internet or data on your phone.  You must also have a device at home you can use.  If there is no device at home, please let us know and we will see what we can do to help.

Other things you need to know about staying in touch via email, text, WhatsApp or phone call:

Although you can send messages to your school coordinator at any time, we can only reply and forward messages between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.  If you send a message after 5pm, we will get back to you the next morning. Unfortunately, as before, if you are a mentored young person, we cannot share your or your mentors contact information with one another.  

New ways to stay in touch with Breakthrough

You can now Google Meet your school coordinator and mentor together online! Google Meet has 3 functions:- live online messaging, video and audio and you can decide to take part in all 3, or just 1, the choice is yours.  You cannot Google Meet your mentor alone – your coordinator will be there from start to finish, just in case you need them.  After a brief introduction, they will leave you and your mentor to talk, message or video chat freely, but they will never leave the ‘meet’ – only mute their mic and camera.

Meetings will be arranged in advance and at time that suits everyone involved and last no longer than 30 minutes.

What you will need:

To get started with Google Meet, we will need you and your parent/carers consent to participate and join online Google Meets.

You must have access to the internet or data on your phone.  You must also have a device at home you can use.  If there is no device at home, please let us know and we will see what we can do to help.

Other things you need to know about using Google Meet:

Google Meet is a secure online meeting area where meetings can only be set-up by Breakthrough staff.  Your school coordinator will set-up and invite you and your mentor to take part in the meeting. They will send a link that you will need to click to join.  To access the meet form a phone you may need to download the free Google Meet app from the Apple Store or Google Play.  If you are using a Laptop or Tablet, you will need Google Chrome.


Can I talk to my mentor alone?

No, Unfortunately. Your Coordinator will always be present when you are spending time with your mentor online. We will be in the background of your mentor meetings but will give you as much privacy as possible by switching off our cameras and microphones during online calls.
Can I meet my mentor face to face?

Sadly, this is not possible for now.  Once schools re-open, we will contact you to re-start your mentoring sessions.
Where should I go during a chat?

It is best to go somewhere you are comfortable and if suitable a shared room in the house – so perhaps a living room? It is important to let your parent/carer know that you are going on a call to Breakthrough/your mentor before it happens.
Can I speak to my coordinator alone?

Yes! You can keep contact with Coordinator throughout using any of the five options above (during working hours- see below for times)
What if I change my mind about meetings?

That is not a problem – you can change your mind at any time, just let your Coordinator know. Just because you change your mind about online mentor meetings, doesn’t mean the in-school mentoring will stop too.

I’m worried about using the technology, can we practice first?

Yes, we will do whatever we can to help make this as easy as possible. We can go through everything ahead of your meetings.
Can I just text or call my mentor instead?

No, Unfortunately, we are not able to share you and your mentor’s contact details. We hope these 5 options will help you stay well connected with your mentor in another way.

When will these meetings happen and how often?

Your Coordinator will be in touch with you to get a plan together of what options best suit you, when you would prefer and how often you would like to stay in touch. We will also get in touch with your mentor to get a time that suits everyone.

Other important stuff to keep in mind:

  • It is important to remember to let your parent/carer know about meetings ahead of them happening. Your parent/carer will be aware you are being given these options as we will be asking them for their consent too
  • When in contact with your mentor it is important to be kind and respectful to them as you would be in school
  • Meetings will be shorter than they would usually be, we have said at the most they will last 30 minutes
  • The coordinator will keep some notes to say if your meeting took place and a wee bit about how you got on. We’ll ask mentors to fill in feedback on how things are going like they do normally
  • At the end of your meetings your coordinator will check in with you to see how you are finding things and if you want things to change at all
  • All contact between you and your mentor/school coordinator will be Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm
  • If you have any worries at all, please speak to your Coordinator! We want to make this as easy as possible and something you will enjoy. If anything is not right let us know
  • Please don’t worry if you are not sure what to do. We will talk you through it. You will also have the opportunity to practice with your school coordinator
  • Relax and enjoy your chats!

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