The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, spent today at Sebright Primary School in London.
Mr Wilson, who is responsible for growing volunteering, social and community action, was full of praise for the seven young people who are volunteering Monday to Thursday at the school as part of their ‘year of service’. He met the school’s Executive Head Janice Thomas, Headteacher James Green and pupils to discuss the impact City Year volunteers have had on the school’s learning environment.
He said: “It was great to visit this City Year UK school and to see how those volunteers who are doing their ‘year of service’ are supporting pupils and helping close the attainment gap.
“It is fantastic that these young volunteers are having such a direct impact and, in turn, pupils are improving in lessons, and are being inspired to volunteer themselves. Both the pupils and volunteers are helping us build a Britain that works for everyone”.
Fiona Collaku, 18, City Year volunteer based at Sebright Primary, said: “I joined City Year as I believe that every child should be able to reach their true potential, no matter their individual circumstances. I’m a month into my time at Sebright and I feel like I’m already making a difference to some of the pupil’s I am working with; for example, I am already seeing pupils take part in many more activities.
“My skills are developing too, such as communication and confidence. I’m really motivated to boost the confidence of the pupils and maintain the legacy of City Year in the school.”
James Green, Head of Sebright Primary, said: “I have always admired the dedication and commitment City Year volunteers show by giving up year of their time to help young people.
“They forge a vital link between the pupils and staff at our school. It is hard to imagine Sebright School without our City Years as they are such an essential part of our team.”
Sophie Livingstone, Chief Executive of City Year UK, said: “I’m thrilled the Minister could see the incredible efforts of our volunteers and the impact they are having on the children at Sebright Primary.
“Many of our volunteers join because they care deeply about tackling educational inequality in their community, but what they don’t realise when they start is how much City Year will change them. They discover they’re capable of much more than they ever expected, and their growth in confidence and skills is plain for all to see.”