Paid work that pays back through a UK Year of Service
In June 2021, City Year UK was delighted to be named as one of the first placement partners for the NCS Trust CIC’s UK Year of Service scheme, supporting the generation hit hardest by COVID-19 and reshaping prospects through meaningful work.
The partnership has enabled the creation of 20 new paid ‘school service leader’ roles for disadvantaged or unemployed young adults, offering the unique opportunity of a year of personal and professional development while driving social change in their community.
Each school service leader is responsible for managing a City Year UK team – giving five+ City Year Mentors day to day advice and coaching, as well as providing additional capacity by working direct with pupils themselves. They support impact officers, who oversee several teams, and are responsible for maintaining a positive school partnership.
The benefit to City Year UK is twofold – an improved volunteer experience and the delivery of a more effective programme for schools and pupils who need help most. For young adults, the opportunity can be life changing. One of our school service leaders explains the impact a UK Year of Service has had on him. He joined the scheme having already completed a placement year as a City Year UK volunteer:
“I come from a single-parent background, I was involved in a lot of gang-related activities when I was young. Throughout school, I felt I couldn’t relate to others who fretted about GCSEs. I was a 15 year old who was on bail for a crime I didn’t commit. I joined a football academy and I made the decision that I would never go back again. I had the opportunity to go to America and play for an academy and go to university.
“I saw loads of people growing up without role models and City Year UK gave me the opportunity to complete my placement at my old high school. Teachers who said that I’d never amount to anything were still working there and I could prove them wrong. I have rejoined the organisation as a school service leader. I have recently graduated from university and the skills and experiences I have gained from City Year have allowed me to become successful.
“I want to be a frontline advocate to open doors for young people. Without City Year funding, I wouldn’t be able to follow my passion to inspire and motivate young people. City Year has allowed me to be the best version of myself.”
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