Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteering

Two minutes! It’s just a simple online form, which sends you an email so you can book onto a training session that suits you.

Yes. Evidence shows that a long term mentoring partnership is the most effective in helping young people to reach their potential. It also means that you will see the impact you are making and know that the time you are putting in is making a big difference.

A DBS is a criminal record check, the cost of which is covered by ReachOut. To receive your DBS certificate, we’ll send you the link to complete a short online application. Once complete you’ll need to bring three ID documents along to the training for us to verify.
Mentors typically use their passport, driving licence and a recent utility bill/bank statement. For a full list of the IDs we can accept, click here.

This doesn’t necessarily stop you from mentoring with us. Please let us know as soon as you decide you want to volunteer and we will discuss the disclosure with you.

It can be a line manager, a colleague, a friend you have know for a long time or a teacher. Family or your partner cannot be your referees.

All volunteers attend a three-hour mentor training, and complete an online safeguarding training, before starting on a ReachOut project. You will be sent a list of available training sessions when you sign up.
Around 20 mentors attend each training session so it is a great place to meet other mentors and ask any questions.

The training covers five areas:

  • ReachOut’s Principles of Mentoring
  • Developing Character
  • How to build a relationship with a young person
  • Boundaries and Safeguarding
  • Project Logistics

At the training, we will also check the documents that you need for your DBS check so don’t forget to bring them!

After the training, we will send you a link to an online safeguarding[HB1] training which includes quizzes to make sure that you feel fully prepared to deal with any safeguarding issues.

Our programmes run in primary and secondary schools in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Oldham, from Monday to Thursday each week in term time.

Yes – we reimburse reasonable travel expenses in line with our volunteer policy. Ask your Volunteer Officer how to make a claim and keep all your receipts – we must have these to reimburse you.

The time commitment of mentoring is 2 hours per week, term-time only for approximately 20 sessions. Our projects start in October and finish just before the Easter holidays.

All of the extra opportunities and events ReachOut puts on for Level Uppers are completely optional to attend. But they are great fun, enable you to develop your career goals and help you meet lots of other likeminded people.

The sessions and its activities are all put together by the Project Leader. You will be sent the session plan 2 days in advance giving you some time to look at the material and ask any questions. On the day, you just need to bring yourself and some positive energy! During the sessions, you’ll be expected to work with your mentee one-on-one, doing some maths and English and taking part in fun, engaging activities designed to develop good character. At the ReachOut Club, the mentors are with the group for the full session. You may be involved in sports, drama, arts and crafts and more. At the ReachOut Academy, the mentors are usually with the group for 1 hour. The mentees then take part in an extra-curricular activity. Mentors are welcome, but not obliged to stay for the 2nd hour. Should you choose to, your role is to get involved and encourage the mentees to always be thinking about using good character.

You will get a choice of which project you’d like to mentor on, so you can choose a day that fits in with your current timetable. The projects only run during term time so during half terms and the Christmas holidays there won’t be sessions running. Volunteering is a great way for you to improve your time management skills so that you can continue mentoring, even when things get busy with your university course.

PARENTS

If you believe your child and school community would benefit from ReachOut mentoring, please speak to your school about our programme. Email the details of school staff members who are interested in the programme to info@reachoutuk.org and a member of ReachOut project staff will make contact with your school.
If your child is enrolled onto the ReachOut mentoring programme, it is vital that they attend consistently. Please remind your child to be on time, in comfortable clothing. The more that they bring to the sessions, the more they will get out of them. The volunteer mentors are there every week, to talk to them about life in and outside of school, supporting them to build their character, confidence and academic skills. Please ensure that their teachers are aware if they cannot make it to a session.
Other ways you can support ReachOut and the work we do is through raising awareness for our programme, telling more people about what we do or donating to help us to work with more schools and reach more young people.

FUNDRAISING

We are happy to provide you with posters and leaflets for promoting ReachOut, and we can bring branded materials like banners to any pop up presentations.

Yes! We love meetings new companies to talk about how you can support our work and get involved.  Typically we would run a lunch & learn session where employees can come along with their lunch to learn more about ReachOut and ask questions in an informal setting. 

You can either make a bank transfer to us (please get in touch for details) or make a cheque payable to “ReachOut Youth” and send it to 26-28 Ramsgate Street, London E8 2NA.

The easiest way to claim Gift Aid on the money you raise is to set up a fundraising page via Virgin Money Giving which gives each of your sponsors the option to claim Gift Aid on their donation.  If you are raising money offline, for example at a bake sale, we can provide you with a Gift Aid form that each person will need to fill out when they make their donation (unfortunately you cannot claim Gift Aid on someone elses behalf)

Yes, if you would like your money to be restricted to something specific, for example a particular school, area or project, then just let us know when you donate it.  
 

Yes, if you are fundraising in a team or with colleagues then you can set up a corproate fundraising page via Virgin Money Giving.  Just link your fundraising page to ReachOut when setting it up and you’ll be good to go!  If you have any questions or problems feel free to get in touch and we can help with this.

SCHOOLS

If you’d like to start the ReachOut programme at your school, please get in touch with us on info@reachoutuk.org. The local Project Manager will get in touch with you to provide more information and book a meeting to discuss further.

A member of SLT from the school should attend this meeting.

ReachOut and the school work in partnership. Although we run the programmes as independently as possible, we require support from the school. This takes the form of completing impact-data, supporting with weekly attendance, sharing strategy on how to support individual young people, and more.  

The full requirements list will be shared with you by your local Project Manager during the first meeting. 

We run ReachOut Club with our primary school partners. Our Clubs usually run from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. A ReachOut Project Leader plans and delivers the entire 2-hour session. The volunteer mentors are present for the entire 2-hour session.

We run ReachOut Academy in our secondary school partners. Our Academies usually run from 6 pm to 8 pm. The Project Leader plans and delivers the first hour of the session. The second hour is planned and delivered by an extra-curricular facilitator e.g. sports coach, drama practitioner. During the second hour, the Project Leader supports with the high quality and safe running of the session. The volunteer mentors are only asked to stay for the first hour but some may take part in the extra-curricular activities in the second hour as well.

We rely on volunteer mentors to be available to provide 1:1 mentoring for the sessions. Therefore, ReachOut sessions must be run after-school. For ReachOut Club, the majority of the volunteer mentors are university students who make time in the afternoons to be at the sessions. For ReachOut Academy, the majority of the volunteer mentors are working professionals who need to arrive at the school after office hours. 

We may be able to offer a little flexibility with the timings of the sessions. Please book a meeting with our staff to discuss this further.

Our volunteer mentors come from a diverse range of backgrounds. of the majority of our Academy mentors are professionals, and our Club mentors are university students. 

All our mentors go through an enhanced DBS check before they are permitted to start on ReachOut projects. 

Our mentors are required to attend a 3-hour training session and complete face-to-face and online safeguarding training.

ReachOut recognises the financial pressures on schools, and is committed to charging schools as little as possible for our services. ReachOut currently charges schools no more than 20% of the total cost of provision, raising the rest of the money through our own fundraising activities.

Our service costs us approximately £1000 per young people to deliver. This covers the cost of the programme resources, core and sessional staff salaries. as well as volunteer recruitment and fundraising activities.

In order to raise aspirations and increase young people’s knowledge of the workplace, ReachOut provides Workplace Experience Visits to The School. These trips are an opportunity for all young people attending ReachOut to have the chance to visit a workplace, spend time with their staff learning about what the business does, the jobs they have there, how staff’s career paths have been shaped and do fun learning activities with the business’ employees.

CASE STUDY

“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.

CASE STUDY 03

“Being able to spend the summer working at Rede Partners, was an amazing experience. Whether it was working in HR or Finance, I learned so much about the world of private equity, made great connections with fantastic people and I got to learn first-hand what it would be like to work there! I really believe that I can go onto build the career I want now I’ve been a part for a workplace for real”

Victor Adekunle, 18 years old, ReachOut Ambassador, London

CASE STUDY 02

“When I first my mentee, she was very reluctant to participate in the sessions. Now, I see a completely different person! Her confidence has grown and she is happy to join in! She still has some self-doubt when it comes to academic work, but that’s what I hope to help her overcome, because she is a very bright person!

Through mentoring, I’ve learnt I’m a lot more patient than I realised. There will be days where she refuses to participate and those are the days that I really see the importance of the character strengths, for both the mentees and the mentors. It also makes it easier for the mentee to understand the character strengths, when I use them myself”

Myrtle, ReachOut Club mentor at Tufnell Primary School, London

CASE STUDY 01

“There are more distractions than ever outside of school, and the commitment of our students to attend ReachOut sessions is testament to the value they place on the relationships they foster there, and the challenge and enjoyment they provide.

ReachOut’s focus on communication skills and character development has become an important aspect of our provision of support for these students. The opportunity to relate to a positive role- model other than their usual teachers is key to the programme’s impact, and the evidence of this has been seen in the students’ attendance, resilience and to their overall progress across all the subjects in the school.”

Thomas Janvrin, Assistant Vice Principal at the Petchey Academy London