Bridge Builders Mentoring exists to improve the social mobility and employability of young males and females, aged 10 and up, from disadvantaged backgrounds.
1. To reduce the attainment gap that exists between disadvantaged youngsters and their peers.
It is well recognised that disadvantaged youngsters tend to underachieve when compared to their peers. In 2012, 36% of children eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) gained 5 A grades at GCSE, compared to 63% of those not on FSM. (Ofsted, 2013). While this gap is closing, particularly with the introduction of the Pupil premium in 2011, it is happening at a very slow rate.
Our aim is to reduce this attainment gap – to ‘diminish the difference’.
2. To develop skills and character traits in youngsters that will increase their chances of securing and retaining employment that fulfils their potential.
For disadvantaged youngsters, it can sometimes be difficult to make the transition to the working world. There are many reasons for this, e.g:
- They may find themselves lacking knowledge about the employment opportunities that exist for them - and the kinds of skills they can build to improve their chances of accessing them
- They may have low expectations of themselves or poor levels of self-confidence
- They may lack a role model - or may simply not identify with life in the working world
We offer the opportunity to gain additional support, guidance and inspiration from middle and senior managers who are experienced in life and work, thereby helping these individuals to achieve their full potential.
Bridge Builders Mentoring is a charity that was established following the publication of the independent REACH report in 2007. The report highlighted the gap that exists between young males from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and their peers. The Chair of the report, Clive Lewis, made a decision following his involvement with the project: he would develop a new initiative to give those individuals the opportunity to bridge that gap. The Bridge Builders Mentoring Scheme was born. We have since extended our scope to work with females from disadvantaged backgrounds as well. Our primary support mechanism is mentoring, however we also offer training courses, work experience and inspirational speakers.
Mentoring is a widely recognised training and development tool for people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Traditionally, mentoring is defined as the long-term passing on of support, guidance and advice; a relationship in which a more experienced person uses their greater knowledge and understanding to support the development of a less experienced person.
Hear from our mentees
Find out what mentees think about Bridge Builders
Mentees, mentors, businesses and schools review their experiences of the Bridge Builders Mentoring Scheme, with a closing message from Dame Janet Trotter DBE
Hear about the impact of the Bridge Builders programme from a parent of one of our mentees
Hear about the impact of Bridge Builders on some of our mentees