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On Tuesday 11th April we held our annual Volunteer Thankyou Event in London!
We invited all of our London volunteers to Macquarie to thank them for all of their hard work and commitment during the school year. We presented awards to recognise our fantastic mentors who have gone above and beyond this year. We also heard from different members of the ReachOut community and even heard from our young people who had prepared video clips thanking their mentors for their support.
Luke, a mentor from Bow School who has been volunteering with ReachOut for the last two years, gave a speech highlighting the vital impact that our mentors have on our young people, pointing to the importance of ‘lightbulb’ moments. He explained that these are moments in life where you gain a sudden shift in perspective, seeing yourself in a new way or seeing a path that you hadn’t previously considered. Luke felt that every ReachOut session opens the door for one of these moments to occur for our young people. His speech moved everyone in the room, reaffirming to our mentors that even the smallest of moments with their mentees can have the biggest impact.
We also heard from one of our wonderful Project officers, Alondra, who took us through her ReachOut journey. She spoke about her time as a mentor and a Project Leader, where she had to push herself and her own confidence, so she could be a role model to her mentees. She shared wonderful anecdotes and stories about how her mentees grew in confidence over the course of the projects. It was a very inspirational speech, one that many mentors and project leaders could relate to.
After the awards ceremony, mentors, Project Leaders and staff all had the opportunity to socialise and share stories from their projects and their young people. It was a perfect wrap-up for the evening!
A huge thank you to everyone who joined us and to Macquarie for being such excellent hosts! It was wonderful celebrating the year with so many of our ReachOut mentors.
Below you can find the full list of our award winners.
Bronze Award Winners (for volunteering 30+ hours):
Silver Award Winners (for volunteering 50+ hours):
Gold Award Winners (for volunteering 75+ hours):
Platinum Award Winners (for volunteering 100+ hours):
Good Judgement Award – Reece Godfrey
Self-control Award – Sergio Bushqi
Fairness Award – Amandine De Gaspari
Staying Power Award – Richard Boadu
Club Mentor of the Year – Sue Ebanks
Academy Mentor of the Year – Tom Edwards
Club Project of the Year – Jubilee Primary School, Year 6 (Tobi’s Group)
Academy Project of the Year – Beacon High School, Year 9/10 (Lizzie’s Group)
Outstanding Contribution – Paris Bourke-White
“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.
“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
“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
“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