Study information for Breakthrough mentors


What is purpose of the study?

The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether providing Breakthrough mentoring helps improve young people’s health, well-being and educational outcomes.

Who is leading the study?

The study is led by Professor Rona Campbell, managed by Dr Angela Beattie both from the University of Bristol, in collaboration with Mr Steve Spiers, Breakthrough Mentoring Manager, South Gloucestershire Council and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s School for Public Health Research (NIHR SPHR;

What is the study?

To evaluate the Breakthrough mentoring programme, we will undertake what is called a pilot randomised controlled trial. This means that, with the help of the school(s), 20 young people who it is thought might benefit from mentoring, and whose parents have consented to their participation in the research, will be randomly allocated to either receive a mentor for the coming school year (intervention group) or will be allocated not to receive a mentor (care as usual group). This is undertaken by a process called randomisation which is like tossing a coin. However, as this is a feasibility study, sometimes called a ‘pilot,’ we would need to conduct a further larger study to check if these differences were related to mentoring. All young people will also continue to receive the care and support that is normally provided by the school.

What does it involve for me?

In order to gain further insight and understanding of Breakthrough mentoring, we will ask some Breakthrough mentors and staff members to take part in interviews. These interviews will explore your views and experiences of mentoring and being involved in the study. The interview should take no more than an hour / hour and a half and will take place at a time and place that is convenient for you. All the information you provide will be anonymised and kept strictly confidential and will be used only for the purposes of this study.

What will happen to the results of the study?

The results of this study will be shared as widely as possible in policy, educational and public health journals, newsletters and by presenting the results at conferences. We will also make the results accessible to all the schools and the local authorities involved in the study.

Who has reviewed this study?

This research has been reviewed by an independent group of people, called the Faculty Ethics Committee, University of Bristol.

How can I find out more information?

If you like further information please contact Angela Beattie on 0117 928 7351 or email:

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