City Year recruits 18-to-25-year-olds for 11 months of full-time volunteering as near-peer role models, mentors and tutors in schools in deprived areas. This simple act of ‘giving back’ through a volunteer service year has a triple impact.
Watch a day in the life of a City Year corps member.
Improving pupil attainment and well-being
“I like City Year in my classroom because whenever I have a problem, someone from City Year helps me. They have helped me with my work and with my friend problems. I have so much fun with them in after-school clubs. If there could be a City Year forever, I would be so happy.” A Year 3 pupil, Hackney, East London
The energy and commitment of our volunteers, known as corps members, can affect the climate of a whole school, helping to create an environment in which children from disadvantaged backgrounds can excel. Pupils are enthusiastic about the enjoyment City Year corps members bring, are inspired to work towards their aspirations for later life, and encouraged to live up to high standards for their own behaviour, learning and interactions with their community.
During Monday to Thursday, corps members are a consistent presence in schools, supporting children to succeed through a range of activities. As part of our year-round partnership with schools, they:
• welcome children at the school gates in the morning to encourage punctuality and attendance;
• provide in-class support for teachers and teaching assistants to boost attainment;
• support a group of focus list children (identified by schools in partnership with corps members) with particular needs ranging from literacy or numeracy to building confidence;
• are there at break-times, eating lunch with the children and playing with them in the playground, reducing disruptive behaviour and reinforcing no-bullying cultures;
• lead breakfast and after-school clubs; and
• introduce children to what service can achieve on a day to day basis.
Building skills for a successful transition into further education, employment or training
"Before City Year, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but now I know that I want to work with young people, and help them to know that they are a part of society. I want to go into social work, and work one to one with young people to give them the second chance that I feel City Year has given me." Isaac Hamid, 2013-14 corps member, City Year Birmingham
City Year helps young people develop the skills, characteristics and contacts they need to make a successful transition into further education, employment or training.
Through volunteering, corps members gain transferable skills such as project management and public speaking, but also benefit from City Year’s leadership development programme. Run every Friday, in conjunction with our corporate partners, it includes career exploration sessions, CV and interview guidance, presentation training, networking opportunities and work shadowing.
81 per cent of our 2013/14 London corps members and 75 per cent of our 2013/14 Birmingham corps members had secured jobs or places in higher education or training before or soon after graduating from City Year.
Read more about our leadership development programme here.
Establishing a “continuum of service”
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”, Mahatma Gandhi
City Year corps members become self-confident leaders who have the passion, values and expertise to continue to contribute to their communities long after their City Year. Through their collective endeavour and inspiration, City Year aims to contribute to the development of service opportunities in the UK and create a movement for social change. Read more about what a volunteer service year means here.