BeatBullying is all about kids helping kids online. Young people have the ability to guide and support each other, and this programme helps to empower them to do just that.
Mentors are young people aged 11-17 who receive intensive face-to-face training from BeatBullying staff which gives them the skills and confidence to mentor offline (in their school or community) and online (on the BeatBullying website). Once graduating, they mentor, guide,and support other young people from all around the country on issues of bullying, cyberbullying and wellbeing.
As well as mentoring, the BeatBullying programme teaches young people how to be great citizens on and offline, and how to safely explore the internet and report and handle both cyber and real-world bullying.
All online mentoring takes place on the BeatBullying website, which was designed by and for young people, and is moderated both by BeatBullying staff and qualified counsellors between 8am-2am every day, in addition to leading child protection software that flags up any predatory or abusive behaviour. The site is the only e-mentoring or social networking site to be endorsed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). There are alsoLifeMentors (aged 18-25) online who are trained not only to mentor, but to support mentors in their roles.
Counsellors provide a core part of the support service helping both mentors and mentees. Mentors can refer any mentee who has presented with an issue they feel unable to deal with to a counsellor. Counsellors also provide online supervision for all mentors, three, and six months after training, to answer questions and make sure they are all enjoying mentoring others.
BeatBullying is also ASDAN accredited: helping young people achieve a qualification in mentoring that can be applied towards an award equivalent to a GCSE or AS level.
Designed by young people for young people, the emphasis as always is on peer-to-peer support and assistance and not adults or authority figures policing the net: although strict child safety mechanisms are embedded in the process to ensure that inappropriate, bullying or predatory behaviour is safely reported. In addition, BeatBullying has worked hard with agencies like CEOP and the Information Commissioner's Office to ensure the highest levels of child protection and privacy and confidentiality are in place.
The website is strictly for young people up to the age of 18. However, if you are a parent or teaching professional, you are very welcome to take part in a guided tour of the site! Just register through the over 18’s section