City Year has been awarded £300,000 from the Government’s Big Society fund, known as the Social Action Fund, to expand into three more schools from September 2012.
The funding means that City Year is able to recruit thirty young people to act as tutors, mentors and role models in schools in deprived areas of London. The funding also enables City Year to step up preparations for expansion outside London.
City Year is London’s leading youth and education charity and the only organisation to offer full-time volunteering in schools. Young people are deployed in teams to work full time, four days per week as role models in primary and secondary schools in deprived neighbourhoods. Known as corps members, the young people provide academic, emotional and pastoral support to pupils. The aim is to have a positive impact on pupil’s academic progress, behaviour and attendance.
On Fridays, the corps members attend the City Year HQ and benefit from a year-long leadership development programme consisting of more than 300 hours of training, mentoring and development activity. This personal development is focussed on supporting the corps members to be successful in education or employment after their time with City Year.
City Year Chief Executive, Sophie Livingstone said:
“We are delighted that our application to the Social Action Fund has been successful. The funding is a huge boost and means that City Year can expand into more London schools, support 2,700 extra children and deliver more than 20,000 hours of additional support to teachers.
“Thanks to their passion and energy, our corps members are having a tremendous impact in schools. Every week we see evidence that pupil behaviour and engagement with learning is improving.
“City Year in the US is proven to work. And we know from feedback from head teachers, pupils and corps members that City Year is having an exciting impact in London. We are very ambitious to expand so that we can make a difference to thousands of more children’s lives. The Social Action Fund enables us to partner with more London schools and explore expansion to another city.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:
“Through these funds we are backing ideas that will inspire more people to get involved. Whether it be taking the chance to help a young person or transform a neglected space, they will be making a positive difference. That’s going to be good for them and their communities. This is also good for the taxpayer because for alongside the Government’s investment, partners are investing almost £15m.”
Cabinet Office Minister Rt. Hon Francis Maude MP recently visited Whitmore Primary School in Hackney to see firsthand City Year corps members working in partnership with the school’s teaching staff. After the visit Mr Maude said:
“City Year volunteers are inspirational role models who are making a fantastic difference to the schools they are working in. City Year is making a difference in two ways. It is helping children with their school work and attitude to life and learning, but equally importantly, it has a transformational effect on the young people themselves, who gain new skills and have a life changing experience.
“One of the aims of the Government’s National Citizen Service is to inspire young people to become active in their communities. City Year could be the perfect next step for committed young people who want to make a difference. I look forward to seeing City Year grow into a national organisation and empowering tens of thousands of children and young people up and down the country.”