Give your time this #GivingTuesday - Inspire young people with IntoUniversity

By Lucy Goodwill, Volunteer Development Manager

Today is ‘Giving Tuesday’, an initiative which started in the United States in 2012 as an ‘antidote’ to the festive shopping season. The campaign aims to promote charitable giving, either through time or financial donations, during a period where society tends to focus more on material items.

The UK joined the movement for the first time last year, with large numbers of charities and organisations highlighting what support could be offered to their cause. This year IntoUniversity is taking part in the campaign, with a particular focus on how you can get involved through one of our core volunteering roles – Academic Support Tutoring.

How can you support IntoUniversity?
Our Academic Support programme is at the heart of our work; it was the first programme we ever ran and every one of our education centres holds four sessions a week during term time, engaging disadvantaged young people from the local community with long term, pastoral care.

The programme offers both primary and secondary school students a welcoming space, with a wide range of resources and support, in which to complete their school work and raise their academic attainment. Each session is run by the centre’s education team and supported by passionate and committed volunteers.

Our Academic Support Tutors volunteer 2-3 hours a week and work either with groups or individual students, offering advice and support with their homework or helping to run one of our specially designed curriculum sessions.

We accept applications for this role throughout the academic year and provide full training, induction and ongoing support to ensure that every volunteer is confident in their role. We hope all Tutors will volunteer for at least one term but strongly welcome a longer term relationship with us and our students if possible.

Without the generous donation of volunteers’ time we would not be able to provide such a high level of support to the young people who access Academic Support and we are so grateful for our volunteers’ commitment to inspiring and empowering our students.

Don’t just take our word for it - here is what some of our current volunteers wanted to share about their experience…

Why did you choose IntoUniversity?
'The experiences I gained at university enriched my life. The idea that I might be able to influence the chance of a youngster enriching their life by choosing to study at University sounded like an end goal I wanted to help them strive towards.' 
– George, IntoUniversity Brixton

 'I wanted more experience of working with primary school children in a supportive environment close to my home. IntoUniversity ticked all of those boxes and gave me flexibility in deciding my time commitment to volunteering.' 
– Esther, IntoUniversity Hammersmith

'I'm not originally from where I live (or the UK at all) and I wanted to feel more connected to the area I live in now.'
– Simon, IntoUniversity Hackney South

What has been your volunteering highlight?
'My favourite moments are when I see the students leaving the session wiser, with more self-confidence and motivation, and happier than when they came in.' 
– Nieves, IntoUniversity Nottingham East

'Seeing the light go on inside a young person’s head when a new connection is seen or a new concept grasped.'
 – Cortland, IntoUniversity Haringey North

'My favourite moment so far has been working with a group of excited 8-10-year olds pretending to be zoologists. Armed with instructions that utilised their knowledge of compass directions and degrees they travelled the world to discover foreign animals.'
– Esther, IntoUniversity Hammersmith

Why become an Academic Support Tutor?
'It's enjoyable, challenging and rewarding in equal measure. This coming from someone with no massive teaching background!'
– Simon, IntoUniversity Hackney South

'You will be challenged and you will work hard but you will never be bored, you will always have fun and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a positive difference to young people’s lives.' 
– Cortland, IntoUniversity Haringey North

'Volunteering at IntoUniversity is an incredibly fun, rewarding and exciting opportunity. You are not only acting as an inspirational role model and supporting young people with their academic studies, but you will also gain many new skills, become part of an enthusiastic and vibrant team and truly make a difference.' 
– Evelien, IntoUniversity North Kensington

Does this sound like something you would like to be a part of? If so, we would love to hear from you! To find out more or sign up, please visit our website. If you have any questions, please contact us at or on 0207 243 0242. 

If you're not able to volunteer with us but would like to support our work with disadvantaged young people, find out about the ways you can donate to IntoUniversity here

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