21 Medical School students have become online mentors for schoolchildren interested in healthcare as a career. Around 35 children from three schools in Coventry, Warwickshire and Worcestershire (Rugby High School, St Augustine’s in Redditch and Coventry’s Sidney Stringer) are taking part in the e-mentoring scheme.
All of the student e-mentors are undertaking the MBChB degree and were recruited by Warwick Volunteers, on behalf of educational charity The Brightside Trust. The trust has set up a scheme called Bright Journals – a website which allows mentors and mentees to communicate via a secure two-way weblog system. Both students and pupils have their own online journal and can write reflective messages and ask questions.
First year medical student Keira Markey said: “It will be really useful to help me with my training. I am used to talking to younger children, but I have never had to deal with teenagers before. I think it will really help them to talk to someone nearer their own age.”
Bright Journals is the only educational e-mentoring programme of its kind. It is currently being used as a widening participation outreach tool by more than 2,000 young people at 400 universities, schools and colleges throughout the UK.