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Back to Impact report 2022-23

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, who offers a sounding board throughout the year on everything from career options and goals to CV development and interview skills.

Five people seated around a table with orange triangle accent
Bridge Builders


Magnifying glass inspecting graph with red triangle accent
Companies represented


Total hours volunteered


James’ Bridge Builder story

Kev O’Shea, Senior QRA Manager at DHL and City Year Bridge Builder:
“Visiting James at his school and seeing him in action was a real eye opener. He is full of empathy and the kids he works with really listen to him, plus he has the patience of a saint. We also visited a DHL site where James got to see first hand how we operate. He was given so much time by the site leaders and impressed them with his professionalism and values.

“The real highlight of the year was being invited to attend and be part of the UK DHL conference with James, to promote the amazing work City Year UK and DHL do. He came across exactly how he is. He really made a lasting impression… It was a very proud day for me to be part of it with him.”

James, City Year mentor:
“Kev has been a key part of my City Year. From the first, he has gone above and beyond to guide and support me through challenges, as well as preparing me for my career. The site visit grew my network and opened my eyes to different opportunities.

“Not only has Kev cared about me but he has also supported the pupils I work with. He delivered an excellent employability skills workshop at school and signed up for two more. We meet regularly, covering help with CMI or my university assignment, discussing careers and building my skills in the workplace. Thanks to him, I have built my confidence, have a clearer idea of my career path and am better prepared with my CV and interview skills. His support has been invaluable.”

Introducing internships

This year, we were delighted to introduce paid summer internship opportunities for our mentors post City Year. The first three were thanks to our partnership with M7 Real Estate and ran for eight weeks within the company’s legal, finance and IT departments. The invaluable experience gave mentors an insight into the job application process, from submitting their CV to a face-to-face interview, as well as the world of work.

It's been really good, very insightful and the people are all very friendly! It has been a great experience and I've enjoyed learning about property investment, I even got to visit a few of the retail parks that they own which was great.

City Year mentor and M7 Real Estate intern

Delivering on wider participation

City Year UK is committed to recruiting mentors drawn from all backgrounds and we have been collaborating with DHL UK Foundation on a project offering a more personalised experience to a small group who were previously NEET (not in education, employment or training). The young adults were given access to additional one-to-one support from a dedicated City Year member of staff, ranging from learning and wellbeing to career advice to help them progress post City Year. Learnings have helped us shape provision in 2023-2024, including a bespoke induction and onboarding process before they join the full cohort, extra support during the year from our most experienced Bridge Builders and a supplemented professional development offer.

National Strategic Partners
  • Bank of America logo
  • The Vertex Foundation Logo
  • DHL UK Foundation Logo
  • National Grid Logo
National Partners
  • CVC Logo