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Impact report 2022-2023

A year of social action with City Year UK

“As I reflect on this experience, I am reminded of the tremendous impact that one person can have on another’s life… it is the immeasurable growth that occurs when someone feels seen, heard and valued.” Mariyah, City Year mentor, 2021-2022 and school service leader, 2022-2023

In its 2023 manifesto, the Fair Education Alliance stated: “Our current system isn’t giving young people from all backgrounds the skills employers need and it’s not giving them a positive experience of school either.” Youth social action offers a blueprint for a holistic response.

In this report, we will look at the difference City Year makes to pupils furthest from opportunity and to young adults about to start work. We’ll share our progress codifying ‘student success coaching’ as an integrated in-school programme and how delivering that coaching provides a skills boost, with implications for improved social mobility, earnings and job and life satisfaction. Last but not least, we will show how our donors, supporters and partners amplify our impact and without whom our programme would not be possible.

Read the full message from our Chief Executive and Chairman here

Mariyah and X’s City Year story

Mariyah explains how she mentored, coached and tutored a Year 10 student, X, to believe that he can succeed at school. In the process, she has become a leader.

The Social Mobility Commission, State of the Nation, 2023

‘Socio-economic disparities start early in life, before a child starts compulsory schooling and continue during those years. This is also the case for a person’s career in the labour market.’

Evidence shows that disadvantaged children may have been more severely impacted by disruptions in learning due to the pandemic than their better off peers:

At age 11

  • In 2021-2022, more than half (57%) of disadvantaged pupils didn’t achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, compared to around a third of non-disadvantaged pupils (34%)
  • This gap has widened since before the pandemic from 20% in 2018-19 to 23%

At age 16

  • In 2021-2022, 70% of disadvantaged pupils didn’t achieve a 5 or above in maths and English, compared to 43% of all other pupils
  • Since 2018-2019, the gap has widened from 25% to 27%

Post 16

  • There is a 30% gap in Higher Education participation between those from the higher professional (51%) and the lower working classes (21%). This is one of the largest class inequalities that the Social Mobility Commission reports
  • Among young people with similar educational levels, there are significant socio-economic background pay gaps. Those from higher-professional backgrounds earn 18% more than those from a lower working-class background who have the same level of education

Social Mobility Commission, 2023, State of the Nation 2023: People and places

A voice that matters

"Being a City Year mentor means having a voice that matters.” –Mushtaq, City Year mentor

Kindness and honesty

"By allowing students to understand teachers’ requirements and vice versa, you assist in closing the communication gap between them. Additionally, you serve as a mentor for your teammates by offering them advice and being honest with them." –Mushtaq, City Year mentor

Watch a video of team Spirit

Annual report 2022-23 overview

A summary of our impact

In 2021-2022, we reported how City Year UK is empowering young adult mentors to tackle educational inequality; connecting social, emotional and academic learning in schools; developing the talent pool of the future; and partnering with donors, schools and universities to enhance our impact. That vital work continues, so this year we’ve retained those themes but have shifted the emphasis to highlight the interconnections that are at the heart of our programme and the synergy they create. In the words of a former mentor, “When you work to change the life of another, it inevitably changes you.”

summary annual report 2022-23

Empowering diverse children and young adults

City Year UK gave 16,216 young people, aged 5 to 25, the opportunity to help each other achieve their potential through youth social action.

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Connecting mentors and mentees

By serving full time for a year in classrooms, corridors, clubs and playgrounds, mentors built a trusting, professional rapport with pupils.

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Developing and interweaving skills and social and emotional capabilities

Pupils were tutored, coached and mentored to develop and integrate social, emotional and academic skills while mentors gained the transferable skills for any career.

Read more
Partnering with the public, private and voluntary sectors

Our partners make City Year UK possible, helping to deliver stand out opportunities in schools and career-enhancing experiences. Thank you.

Read more

My mentor helped me feel like I'm not alone.”

Year 11 Pupil Partner school

What we've achieved

Manchester team Apr 23
Developing the workforce of the future

The urgent need for programmes like City Year UK, which help diverse young adults bypass the ‘skills trap’ of low pay and low prospects and lead to ‘good jobs’, is clear. See how we ensured that our mentors gain the right skills and opportunities for their journey into worthwhile employment.

Learn more
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Our holistic impact in schools

Key to our student success coaching approach is the connection between mentor and pupil. Learn more about the framework that we developed so that our mentors continue to be embedded in schools and remain central to creating welcoming, safe and engaging learning environments where all pupils can thrive.

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Our organisation

City Year has been described as ‘a challenge like no other’ and we recognise that it’s often the hardest thing our mentors have ever done. Equally, our staff work extremely hard, in and out of school, to support them. Find out more about our investment in staff and systems as well as our focus on mental health and wellbeing.

Learn more

I’ve enjoyed my mentoring sessions with my City Year. He has helped me to learn responsibility for myself and understand when I'm doing the wrong thing.”

Year 11 pupil Partner school

Partnerships with purpose in 2022-23

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Partnering for change

53 corporates, trusts, foundations, individual and family donors provided financial support and engagement critical to our impact in 21 schools across London, the West Midlands and Greater Manchester. Thank you.

View our 2022-23 partners

View our 2022-23 primary and secondary schools

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Raising our profile

The Rt Hon. Lord Blunkett hosted a reception at the House of Commons on behalf of City Year UK. The theme, ‘Investing in Young People’, shone a spotlight on sector partnerships and our collective impact with UK Year of Service.

uk year of service logo black

More about our partnership with UK Year of Service

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Building bridges between business and young people

A key part of City Year UK’s role is to bring businesses together with young adults to open doors to opportunity. One way we do that is by pairing each mentor with their own mentor (known as a Bridge Builder) from a professional background.

Read more


In 2022-2023, we were delighted that our mentors were celebrated for their contribution to tackling educational inequality and that City Year UK was recognised for its supporting role.

Jubilee award logo - transparent backgroundstudent social mobility awards logo


“My shining moment was being selected to represent City Year UK at a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. We were invited after winning the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award. I will savour it for the rest of my life." –Mutsa Ashley, City Year mentor

Watch Ashley and Harry at the Royal Garden Party

All of my work, success and progress have been made possible by City Year’s commitment to establishing a safe environment where I felt confident to be my authentic bubbly self and share my mental health journey and my perspective as a woman of colour.”

Mutsa Ashley City Year mentor

Financial review

This year, we have delivered City Year UK’s programme in 21 schools across three sites and, although the fundraising context remains challenging, we were successful in continuing to grow our reserves.

The Statement of Financial Activities show the impact of our careful financial management, with a surplus for the year ended 31 July 2023 of £22,691. This is the result of total incoming resources of £2,617,220 net of total resources expended of £2,594,529. Unrestricted funds at the year end were £449,983 and restricted funds were nil.

Financials 2022-23

Download the full PDF version of the report and financial statements here

I did not expect my journey and growth to be as rewarding and profound. I joined City Year with minimal confidence and I am now leaving feeling more empowered. The leadership development programme has given me multiple opportunities.”

Simran City Year mentor

Annual Report Archive

Impact report 2021-2022

View report
Impact report 2019-2021

View report
Impact report 2018-2019

View report

Thank you

We want to say a big thank you to our donors, partners, staff and everyone who has provided, and continues to provide, such vital support for our organisation.

Download the PDF version of the 2022-23 report Get in touch
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