The ReachOut Residential

The first weekend of September 2017 saw 50 ReachOut Project Leaders from Manchester, Oldham and London visit Queen Mary University of London for two jam-packed days of training and preparation ahead of an exciting year of ReachOut projects!

Events kicked off Friday night with ice-breaker games for everyone to meet each other and become inspired on engaging the young people they will be working with. ReachOut’s CEO, Peter Blackwell, welcomed everyone and gave insight into the history of ReachOut. Peter spoke of inspirational stories and memorable ReachOut moments to demonstrate the huge impact the Project Leaders will be having in the year to come.

“Amazing journey. Can’t wait to get started with ReachOut.”

Thirteen engaging sessions covering everything from the ReachOut character strengths, to behaviour management, and how to run sports activities, kept Project Leaders busy Saturday and Sunday morning! Some of the key areas covered in training included:

  • How to design and run activities to engage young people.
  • Managing and effectively dealing with challenging behaviour.
  • How to run a successful sports session, even if you don’t consider yourself ‘sporty’!
  • Why ReachOut focus on character and how you can help young people to develop theirs.
  • How to manage volunteers to make impact in your sessions.

“The weekend has made me feel much more prepared for being a Project Leader and I now feel comfortable asking the ReachOut staff for advice”

Saturday night saw a fantastic quiz take place as well as Project Leaders chatting and exchanging ideas.

Project Leaders really valued the opportunity to meet each other, understand more about the ReachOut ethos, and learn how to run effective projects for young people. We said goodbye on Sunday afternoon and everyone left with a lot of incredible ideas and enthusiasm, excited for their projects to begin!

“Had a great weekend, lovely to become part of the ReachOut family.”

We’re now recruiting Project Leaders for our 2018/19 projects – if you’d like to join the team and join us at this year’s Residential, sign up here!

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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