Who are you?
My name is Phoebe Gittins, I am 20 years old and studying French and History BA at King’s College London. I am originally from Newcastle upon Tyne and moved to London to start university in September 2017.

How did you find out about ReachOut and what made you want to volunteer as a mentor?
I always knew I wanted to volunteer in some way when I came to university. At my Fresher’s Fair, the bright orange balloons at ReachOut’s stall were eye-catching enough for me to sign up. Despite the madness of those first few weeks of university, (and thanks to the perseverance of the mentor recruitment team!), I joined the North Harringay Primary School Club project for Year 6 children.

How did your project go?
I liked everything about my project: our Project Leader Sally, the other mentors, the mentees, the sessions and even the football. We had such a lively group and I enjoyed the atmosphere in the room both during quiet, working time and the activities.

What were the main challenges and favorite moments of mentoring?
One of the biggest challenges I faced during my time mentoring was when we heard that one of my mentees, unfortunately wanted to stop attending the club. We were building a good relationship and I could not understand why he would want to finish early. Speaking to him at the next session, I encouraged him to stay until the end of the year; I soon realized that by using my own Staying Power and motivating my mentee to do the same, both he and I developed so much as young people. My favorite moment was filling out the booklet pages during the last session of the year with my mentee, and watching him realize how much improvement he had made over the year.

Why did you decide to do an internship at ReachOut?
I wanted to do an internship at ReachOut so that I could learn about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of a charity, having volunteered as a mentor and felt truly inspired. I believe in the charity’s mission, so to gain this experience in the fundraising sector suits my personal and career development perfectly.

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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