Volunteer Thank You Event

The annual ReachOut Volunteer Thank You Event is one of our favourite nights of the year. It’s an opportunity for us to bring all of our wonderful volunteers together and show how much we appreciate their hard work, commitment and resilience.

We provide one-to-one mentors for young people who have been referred to us for a variety of reasons and in the words of our London Manager, Chloe Holness, “volunteering with ReachOut is not easy, but if it were easy then those wouldn’t be the children that need a mentor”. Despite this challenge, our dedicated volunteer mentors show up week after week, rain or shine, to support these young people in raising their aspirations, improving their academic attainment and reaching their potential. We are incredibly grateful and so proud of every single one of them and this is our way of saying a huge THANK YOU!!

This year we were extremely lucky to be able to host the event at the beautiful and historic Clothworkers Hall in the City of London.  With over 100 volunteers in attendance and the speeches out of the way we were pleased to announce the following winners of the 2017 awards:

ReachOut Academy Volunteer of the Year – James Lovelace

James has been volunteering since 2014 and has a great relationship with his mentee, Eren, who he has worked with for 2.5 years. He has participated in various workshops and fundraising activities, including football and dodgeball tournaments, and is soon to run the Hackney Half Marathon for ReachOut.

ReachOut Club Volunteer of the Year – Prithvi Shashikant

Prithvi has been a dedicated, reliable and supportive mentor, taking an active role on his project by helping with behaviour management and helping to run activities. His enthusiasm has had a massive impact on his mentee who has made huge improvements in their reading and writing.  In addition, Prithvi has been a great ambassador for ReachOut at his university and has even written a piece about us for the LSE Volunteer Brochure.

ReachOut Project of the Year – Redlands Year 6 Girls Project

Mentor attendance on this project has been consistently excellent and their project leader has made an exceptional effort to deliver interesting and fun sessions which have included art, cooking, sport and debate activities. The mentees on this project have particular challenges around self-confidence and self-esteem and the mentors have worked hard to build positive mentor relationships to combat this.

ReachOut Project Leader of the Year – Ovig Mututa

We first met Ovig when she volunteered on our Summer Project in 2015 and we were so impressed with the way she engaged with young people we offered her the job of Project Leader that September. She is always thinking of creative ways to engage the boys on her project, from mini science challenges to bulldog with their mentors, and the boys have a great fondness for her.  She is strict but fair and goes above and beyond in her role as project leader.

ReachOut Outstanding Contribution Award – Daphne Mcrae

Daphne first started mentoring with ReachOut in 2012 at a ReachOut Academy project in Hackney with a lively group of 15 year old boys.  She then went on to mentor 10 year old girls at ReachOut Club, a totally different challenge!  She still volunteers today, as well as being the social secretary of the ReachOut Socials committee, organising social events such as pub quizzes and BBQ’s for our volunteers throughout the year.

Kierhan Dhaliwal Student Inspiration Award – Toby Sansom

This award goes to Toby, who has shown exceptional dedication to ReachOut and his project since starting as a mentor in 2014. Now a project leader, he works hard to support his mentors and deliver an inspirational and interesting project every week. In addition to mentoring and being a project leader, he has helped raise our profile at Queen Mary University through the ReachOut Society and has also volunteered in our office over the summer of 2016 to help us develop our curriculum.  Unfortunately Toby is currently abroad so Boma, an ex-mentee, accepted the award on his behalf

Congratulations also goes out to all of our volunteers who were awarded with their 25 hours, 50 hours and 75 hours of volunteering certificates – well done and thank you to you all!

Thank you to everyone who attended and everyone who has supported us over the last year. Bring on 2017/18!

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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