Visit from Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

ReachOut were very excited to welcome Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to three ReachOut Academy projects at The Co-op Academy Failsworth on 21st May 2019.

The Mayor met head teacher, Phill Quirk, and Ian Burchett from the Co-Op Trust to discuss The Co-op Academy Failsworth and ReachOut working together. Phill explained that they have been ‘very pleased’ with the partnership and are looking forward to another year working with ReachOut in 2018/19.

Andy Burnham also had the opportunity to meet the amazing mentors on the projects, many of whom travel from Manchester each week to support their mentees. Clare, a student at the University of Manchester explained why visits like this are so necessary: ‘It’s important for people like Andy Burnham to see how worthwhile projects like ReachOut’s are. Giving young people a voice and a platform to build their confidence and articulate what they feel is how communities change for the better’.
It was a good day to visit the Year 9 Boys as they were using their Good Judgement and Staying Power to design and build bridges to connect tables around the classroom. The Mayor offered mentees his own top tips on bridge construction and chatted to them about their own experiences of ReachOut.

Mr Burnham also popped in for a visit to the Year 10 Girls who were delivering debates that they had been preparing for the last few weeks. Teams of mentors and mentees debated for and against single sex schools and whether or not zoos were cruel. The group demonstrated some excellent and very passionate public speaking skills for all of the arguments which the Mayor was very impressed by.

The Mayor seemed to really enjoy his time visiting ReachOut and we would love to have him back to any of our projects whenever he would like to visit!

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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