Discover more about ReachOut

We are thousands of young people, volunteer mentors, alumni, ambassadors, fundraisers, project leaders, programme managers, trustees, teachers and support staff. Together we work to build character and improve attainment in all the young people we work with.

ABOUT REACHOUT

ABOUT US

We are a charity who partners with schools in disadvantaged communities to support young people aged 9 to 16 referred to us for one of the following reasons: low academic attainment, low confidence, behaviour issues, or because their teachers believe they would benefit from the support of a role model.

We deliver one-to-one mentoring projects in London, Liverpool and Greater Manchester.

Our Mission Statement

REACHOUT MISSION STATEMENT
ReachOut is a mentoring charity working with children in disadvantaged communities to raise aspirations and help them grow in character and competence.

We improve self-confidence and develop Numeracy, Literacy, Communication and Memory Skills, whilst reinforcing our core values of Fairness, Self-Control, Good Judgement and Staying Power.

We do this through one-to-one mentoring with positive role models and team activities, to promote leadership, trust and responsibility.

Staying Power

resilience, grit, the ability to stick at something, to honour commitments, to see tasks through to the end.

Self-Control

the ability to keep emotions in check and to choose to act (or not to act) in a certain way despite how we may feel.

Fairness

to treat others with respect and empathy, honouring rights and responsibilities, and being honest.

Good Judgement

the ability to consider consequences and make decisions that benefit both ourselves AND those affected by our choice.

REACHOUT
CLUB

ReachOut Club projects run straight after school for Years 5 and 6. Each project supports 10 young people for 20 weeks. The sessions involve one-to-one Maths and English activities focusing on building academic confidence, character and growth mind-set, combined with fun group activities such as sports, arts and crafts.

Mentors encourage their mentees to reflect on their use of good character in and outside of school.

Providing young people with their own mentor whilst in Year 5 and 6 helps them to prepare for the challenging transition into secondary school for Key Stage 2 assessments (SATs).

REACHOUT ACADEMY

ReachOut Academy projects run in the evenings for Year 7 – Year 11. Each project supports 16 young people and runs for 30 weeks.

Each two-hour session includes an hour of one-to-one individual academic mentoring focusing on Maths and English and group activities all centred around developing character. The second hour is an extra-curricular group activity also centred around character, such as football coaching, drama or yoga!

Our mentors help young people navigate through challenging teenage years and ultimately prepare them for crucial GCSE exams and transition into further education and work.

REACHOUT Home

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ReachOut Home is our new online mentoring programme developed as a response to COVID-19. We work with our partner schools to deliver online projects which support 10-16 young people. 

Our programme – facilitated over Zoom – runs for 20 weeks in primary schools and 30 weeks in secondary schools, with each 1 hour and 15 minute session including a combination of one-to-one individual mentoring and group activities.

Our programme is designed to support our young people’s emotional wellbeing, with a particular focus on developing character and building the necessary skills to navigate the challenges of our ‘new normal’.

WHAT MAKES REACHOUT WORK

OUR VOLUNTEER MENTORS

Our mentors are volunteers are from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages and are driven to help young people.

After attending a compulsory and comprehensive 3-hour training, and passing our safeguarding checks, volunteers become our mentors. They show up every week during the academic year to support their mentee, both with their academic work and in developing their character strengths.

OUR PROJECT LEADERS

Project Leaders are sessional staff who facilitate our weekly ReachOut Club and ReachOut Academy sessions. This is done through the ReachOut Leadership Development Programme, a one-year scheme designed to support their professional development and provide direct experience leading groups of young people and volunteers.

Interested in becoming a project leader?

“At first, I was really hesitant to take on the Project Leader role, despite having mentored with ReachOut. However, with the support of the team I’ve really developed my skills. For example, at the Mentee Graduation, I stood up in front of 200 people and presented an award which is something I would never ever have been able to have done before, and isn’t an opportunity I could gain in my other situations.”

Amy McCutcheon
Project Leader at ReachOut Academy, Dean Trust Ardwick, Manchester

OUR AMBASSADORS

ReachOut Ambassadors must have attended at least one year of a ReachOut Programme. Aged 16-25, they volunteer with us as mentors, fundraisers, corporate champions and as mentors of our Youth Panel.

They also speak on our behalf at events, ranging from lunch and learn presentations through to keynote speeches.

They are powerful advocates for young people, mentoring, character development and ReachOut. We’re lucky to have them represent us.

“To me, ReachOut is a place where children can not only develop academically but also open their mind to the wider world, explore what the future may hold and develop lifelong relationships with their peers and mentors. ReachOut has shaped my life post 16 as it gave me a goal to work towards, a career to aspire to and general guidance on how my life would change after school.”

Shervann
ReachOut Ambassador

OUR TRUSTEES

Our Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of ReachOut. They meet regularly to review, discuss and agree on our strategies and receive reports and updates from senior managers. Our trustees work for ReachOut voluntarily to make sure we are doing all we can to help disadvantaged young people to achieve their potential.

Edmund Lehmann, Chair

A former mentor, Ed became a trustee in 2009 and Chairman in 2011. In his very early career Ed was a youth worker for the London Borough of Camden, and is a qualified mountain leader, climbing instructor and Duke of Edinburgh's Award expeditions assessor. After 15 years in commodities trading and business development at Shell and BG Group, Ed now runs his own fund, investing in financial markets as well as start-up ventures where he has a particular interest and relevant experience to offer. Ed holds the bilingual MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona and an undergraduate degree from the University of Manchester and Sciences-Po, Paris, in Philosophy and Political Science. He leads the board and has a particular focus on business planning and strategy.

Marion Baker

As a trustee of the Four Acre Trust Marion got to know ReachOut from 2011, visiting the charity and learning what we do first hand. A former Director of Ohal Marketing Consultancy (a WPP company providing statistical modelling and consultancy to major companies in the UK, Europe and USA), her responsibilities included project delivery, recruitment, training and people development as well as sales and marketing. Now retired she is a volunteer fundraiser for the NSPCC and a member of their senior volunteer committees as well as retaining her role as a trustee at the Four Acre Trust. Marion brings extensive operational experience of SME life and detailed understanding of ReachOut’s space in the charity sector to the board.

Shardaé Carr

A ReachOut mentor in 2005 when studying at university, Shardaé worked for the organisation for the remainder of her studies part time, and did a year as a full time employee after graduating. She left to train as an actuary, returning to volunteer as a mentor and eventually as a trustee from 2015. She holds a degree in Mathematics from Queen Mary, University of London and now works as a Senior Risk Analyst at Lloyds Syndicate Aegis London. She brings huge value to the board through her knowledge and understanding of our young people’s circumstances, front line experience at ReachOut both as a mentor and employee, and her strong analytical and finance background.

David Fass

A trustee since 2017, David's financial services career spans over 30 years with expertise founded in capital markets and advisory. Now Head of Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets at Macquarie Group, David has an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan. David is an accomplished endurance athlete, a keen ocean racer and active in several philanthropic endeavours that focus on education and opportunities for disadvantaged youth, and has a role on the Advisory Board for the Prince's Trust International. He brings business strategy and leadership expertise to our board.

Mark Wakefield

As a consultant and executive coach, Mark has worked with chairmen, CEOs and senior executives in companies as diverse as the National Portrait Gallery, the BBC, Swisscom, Vitec, and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell. His 34-year career has spanned broadcast journalism and management consultancy and included a key strategy role advising the BBC’s Chairman and Trustees. Mark has been an Adviser to ReachOut since 2013, becoming a Trustee in 2015. He brings huge experience in people management, development and strategy to our board.

Nimesh Patel

Nimesh is Chief Financial Officer of the De Beers Group, a global diamond company with 20,000+ employees across 30 countries and over $6bn in annual revenue. Formerly at Anglo American, JP Morgan and UBS, Nimesh holds a BSc, Mathematics, Operations Research, Statistics and Economics for the University of Warwick. He joined the board in 2019, and specializes in business planning and finance.

James Browne

Currently Head of Street at BT, James has held a variety of senior commercial and marketing roles globally across FTSE 100 companies covering consumer goods, durables and finance sectors, most recently UK Managing Director of Hiscox Insurance Direct & Partnership Division. An advocate of building businesses by committing to the success and well-being of people he holds a 1st class degree from University of Bristol and the bilingual MBA from IESE Business School. James specialises in business growth, commercial development and marketing on our board.

Zeynab Yusuf

Zeynab joined ReachOut as a mentor in 2015, progressing to a Project Leader and leading an exceptional mentoring project through her 2nd & 3rd years of university. She carried our her undergraduate research project on the factors that influence young people’s educational and occupational aspirations and after graduating became a secondary school Mathematics teacher. She became a trustee in 2019 and helps the board with understanding and experience of our young people, their lives and also the challenges for teachers and parents.

Shardaé Carr

A ReachOut volunteer since 2005, Shardaé joined the board in 2015 On the board she has a particular focus on finance and took on the role of Treasurer in 2016. Shardaé won the Girls Outstanding Achievement in Higher Education award at the London Schools and Black Childs Academic Awards in 2008. She holds a degree in Mathematics from Queen Mary, University of London.

OUR STAFF TEAM

Our Chief Executive Officer, Peter Blackwell, started as a student mentor in Manchester, came to London to open our London office and in 2015 became our Chief Executive.

Our London project team manages all of our projects in across London – liaising with schools, supporting mentors and maximising the impact on students.

Our Manchester project team manages all of our projects in Manchester, Oldham and Liverpool.

Our Volunteer team is responsible for recruiting over 600 volunteers per year and ensuring that our mentors have the best experience possible.

Our Operations Manager is responsible for supporting all teams with data collection, HR and finance needs.

Our Marketing & Communication Manager is responsible for creating all the supporting material that our teams need and ensuring that we are telling our story the best way possible.

OUR STAFF TEAM

SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM

Our experienced Senior Management leads the organisation and works closely with the Board of Trustees to ensure ReachOut is always delivering outstanding front line services, innovating creatively, and building for the future.

Peter Blackwell

CEO

A month after graduating I was applying to jobs in finance when a man asked me if I'd help his charity set up in London. I thought I'd do it for a year, and then move on. Nearly 16 years later I'm still here, and the most beautiful thing about it is that so many hundreds of the people l have met through this work are still a part of it too in one way or another. We've created something that helps people find purpose, build their confidence and character, and gives them something positive and exciting to belong to. There's always a challenge, something to learn, and problems to solve, but I couldn't ask for a better team to do this with, or a better organisation to do it for.

Grusche Michelsen

Director of People

I enjoy working at ReachOut because of our amazing people, we all work together to support and help young people. Everyone is very passionate about what they do, and it’s a joy to come to work every day. I am proud to be part of such a great team and an organisation which mission I truly believe in.

Bejal Shah

Programmes Director

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PROJECT TEAM

Our project team manages all of our projects – liaising with schools, supporting mentors and maximising the impact on students.

Alice Cleary

Project Manager, North West

In my role at ReachOut, I have the pleasure of watching relationships between our mentees and their mentors grow - it is fantastic to see both parties step out of their comfort zone as they learn from each other! I am also always so impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity of our Project Leaders as they are incredibly passionate about supporting our young people.

Chady Sabeti

Project Manager, London

Everyone at ReachOut is passionate about our mission, this means that as a workplace it is possible to have fun everyday, as well as be challenged to deliver your best work. I am constantly inspired by my colleagues, as much as by the mentors and young people. The project team is lucky to often work for several years with the same group of young people, which feels very unique to ReachOut. Seeing young people develop their character strengths year-on-year is a privilege.

Aleyah Babb-Benjamin

Project Manager, London

ReachOut is powered by people; the staff, the kids, the volunteers, the schools, the funders - everyone comes together to achieve a shared mission. That is what I find so powerful about working for an organisation as special as ours.

Mehmet Aygun

Project Officer, London

I love working at ReachOut because its an amazing organisation that puts the needs of the young people first. There is so much planning and thought put into making sure young people have every possible opportunity to succeed in becoming successful members of society. This is in line with my ambitions of helping young people have the opportunities I didn't when I came to the UK as a 7 year old.

Alondra Vera

Project Officer, London

ReachOut is more than just an organisation, it is a family. I have gained incredible experiences with them first as a mentor, then as a Project Leader and now as a Project Officer.

Ella Downs

Project Officer, London

I love working at ReachOut because you are able to see the benefits of our mentoring at every project you go to which highlights the importance of ReachOut’s work for me and is a great motivator. Plus, no day is the same! You work in a supportive environment with a variety of different people all passionate about working towards a common goal, helping young people and raising aspirations.

Isobel Stainsbury

Project Officer, North West

I love being part of ReachOut because of all the wonderful people I get to work with. Our staff, mentors and mentees are all work exceptionally hard and still manage to fill every day with fun too!

Lilli Newson

Project Officer, North West

I love working at ReachOut because I am consistently inspired by our vibrant community of people whether that is our young people, mentors or full time staff members. I also love supporting the development of our project leaders as they find the confidence to lead and manage impactful projects in new and exciting ways.

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VOLUNTEER TEAM

Our volunteer team leads in recruiting over 600+ mentors and making sure our amazing volunteers have an incredible experience with us.

Harriet Bradshaw-Smith

Volunteer Officer, London

Passion is a driving force at ReachOut. You feel it from the moment you are in the same space as a member of the team, whether that's at a project or an event. Everyone's passion for young people is inspiring and makes it an exciting place to work.

Rebecca Waite

Volunteer Officer, London

ReachOut is like a second family. We all have so much passion for the young people we work with which helps us work extremely well as a team. I look forward to coming to work every day!

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FUNDRAISERS

Our fundraising team develops partnerships with companies, trusts and foundations and individuals.

Felicity Lewis

Business Development Manager

Working for a small charity like ReachOut brings rewards every day. The entire team are incredibly passionate about improving the lives of young people in our community and it's amazing to see the impact our programmes have on a weekly basis

Hannah Seers

Senior Fundraising Officer

I like the supportive environment at ReachOut. It is a really passionate team who believe in the work we do and the young people we work with. There is a lot of trust and respect for every idea and team member in a non-hierarchical structure.

Kharishma Ballucksingh

Business Development Officer

I started working for ReachOut in March 2020, what drew me to the charity was everyone’s passion and dedication for young people, supporting them in getting the best start in life and helping them grow in confidence and build on their character strengths.

Ruby Richards

Fundraising Officer

I love being part of an organisation that champions developing good character in young people.

Becky Sutch

Fundraising and Volunteer Officer

I love working at ReachOut because we’re all working towards a really worthwhile goal. Everyone is passionate about supporting the young people to be the best versions of themselves and I love working alongside such talented and hardworking individuals to see ReachOut’s mission realised.

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SUPPORT TEAM

Our support team counts with our incredible Operations Manager and Communication and Marketing Manager who support the various teams and work closely with senior management supporting the strategic development of the organisation.

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Kevin McCarthy

Operations Manager

My favourite thing about working at ReachOut is hosting all our pub quizzes!

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JOIN US

JOIN THE TEAM!

By joining ReachOut you’ll become part of a fun, tight-knit, supportive team where you’ll constantly be progressing and learning, whilst making a difference to the young people we work with.

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