Last year I spent an afternoon with one of our amazing charities, Drive Forward Foundation, running an CV workshop for youngsters leaving the care system. I was struck by some of the challenges but overall left feeling very inspired: my experience and writing skills meant we were able to do some great work within a short space of time.
The experience left me empowered and wanting to do more, so last September I signed up to become a tutor with The Access Project. It’s a great program because it support students earlier in their school career, helping them improve their grades and ultimately their chances of getting into a top-class university.
As a state-school kid and a Cambridge graduate this is a topic pretty close to my heart; there were a disproportionally large number of Tarquins and Annabelles at my college but I understand that for things to change, youngsters need to supported in their aspirations to attend top Unis much earlier.
So now I tutor a lad in year 10 every Wednesday; working on his English literature GCSE. It’s a real pleasure revisiting texts like An Inspector Calls and Romeo and Juliet as a post-graduate, and I think I’m able to really communicate that enthusiasm for the stories, context and language to my tutee. We spend a lot of time simply closely reading the texts and getting a really good understanding.
Access Project Tutee
I’ve done about 12 lessons now, and although the Access Project suggest that 20 weeks is when improvement begins to really show, I think my tutee is coming on in leaps and bounds. If getting a 14 year old laughing out loud at Shakespeare’s jokes isn’t success, I don’t know what is!
If you’ve enjoyed volunteering with young people, I’d really recommend looking at making a regular commitment and tutoring through an organisation like the Access Project.
I’d also like to draw attention to a campaign that the charity is running.
Throughout February, they are part of a Pledgit campaign, where every £1 donated to support the work of The Access Project will very kindly be matched by TalentPool, up to a maximum of £300.
£10 covers the cost of taking one student on a day trip to visit a highly selective university
£20 provides one textbook to a tutor to assist their tutorials
£50 would enable 5 students to travel to and from their tutorials for a month
This is a really valuable cause and if you’re looking for a charity where you’ll get impact for your donation, look no further. The campaign runs until 29 February.