ReachOut cleans up at awards ceremony!

Hollywood aren’t the only ones enjoying awards season at the moment. Volunteer Officer’s Becky, Harriet and Rebecca have been submitting student award nominations left, right, and centre in recent weeks. Not only have they been nominating our brilliant volunteers for awards but they have also had the pleasure of attending lots of award ceremonies!

On Tuesday 26th March, Harriet and Rebecca attended Queen Mary Student Union’s Volunteering and RAG Awards evening, and were even fortunate enough to come away with a number of awards!

What was incredible about the evening was that ReachOut had a nominee in almost every category! The categories and ReachOut nominees were:

New Volunteer of the Year:

Susie Hawthorne

Rebecca Dewar

Leaver Volunteer of the Year:

Anthony Ng

Volunteer of the Year:

Alondra Vera

Charles Nyamekye

Zara Gokal

One of the highlights of the evening was seeing Susie Hawthorne and Alondra Vera win the New Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year respectively. Hearing their nominations and the impact they made at their projects was incredible, and reminded us how brilliant student volunteers can be!

Susie was nominated by Project Leader Briony because “she genuinely cares about her mentee and the other girls in the group, actively engages and attends socials. She also breaks down and challenges expectations the girls hold onto themselves. She is a pleasure to have as a mentor and has had a memorable impact on the mentees.”

Alondra was nominated by Project Officer Yanika because she “is always the first mentor to arrive early to help her Project Leader set up the room and session, her attendance is consistent so her mentees know they can rely on her to be there. Alondra is so positive and friendly, super confident to speak to anyone and help them feel included. You can also tell that she’s just so passionate about ReachOut from the way she talks about young people and character”.

A huge congratulations to both Susie and Alondra, as well as to the other nominees who are also fantastic assets to both ReachOut and QM.

Another highlight of the evening was coming home with Community Organisation of the Year award for the third year in a row! QMSU said the award was to acknowledge the incredible work our volunteers’ do, ReachOut’s high level of engagement on QM campus, and Harriet and Rebecca’s tireless efforts to track the progress of QM volunteers. We were so pleased to receive this commendation again, and look forward to continue working with Queen Mary Student Union and their students!

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“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