ReachOut Summer Reception 2018

Wednesday 13th June 2018 marked ReachOut’s Summer Reception event at the House of Commons. The Terrace Pavilion was filled with over 200 supporters including MPs, young people, mentors and funders.

Meg Hillier MP and Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP both hosted and spoke at the event. Nicky Morgan MP, a firm believer in character education spoke about how essential our character strengths are, saying “all four strengths that ReachOut seek to develop are hugely important but the last one, staying power, is particularly under-developed in far too many of our young people”.

Several young people on our projects also attended the event, and Richie and TJ from The Petchey Academy spoke about  the Impact that their ReachOut mentor has had on them: “both my mentor and my Project Leader have noticed an improvement in my Staying Power” and “the Maths and English is really good because it helps me in school”.

Gavin Alexander, who used to attend ReachOut as a young person, also spoke at the event, describing himself as a “little terror” back in the day, but how “having positive role models was so important to help [him] start considering [his] actions”. Gavin now attends SOAS, a top University in England and has also become a Project Leader at ReachOut where he is a now a role model to other young people.

This year ReachOut is supporting 739 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, however there are still a staggering 1.9 million disadvantaged school pupils in England.  What is the impact of this? Disadvantaged young people are 40% less likely to get five good GCSEs than their ‘better off’ peers meaning a whole host of opportunities are closed off to them by the time they’re only 16 years old.

Peter Blackwell, ReachOut CEO, called on us all to consider how we can help ReachOut to continue to support as many of these young people as possible. He gave us three suggestions:

Help us make change possible.