At the end of a long day at work, we can all feel tired and deflated at times. Whether sat in your office, interacting with customers or in and out of board meetings you may find it exhausting to see beyond the office walls. When someone suggests volunteering as a solution you may not automatically think of the benefits, but there are so many.
Whatever your reason for signing up to volunteer we always see that our volunteers get more out of it than they put in. In the last academic year 1302 volunteer tutors spent 20,840 hours supporting a young person on our programme to realise their academic potential. Each hour every one of our tutors spends with their student is phenomenal.
When you volunteer, you benefit. We are always told that volunteering leads to improved wellbeing, a sense of giving back and the opportunity to learn. It is also a chance to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life. When we asked our tutors about their experience on our programme, 94% believed they made a difference.
As a tutor you can also benefit personally and professionally, and here are just a few ways:
- Communication: The ability to explain a complex concept in simple terms is the mark of an expert. It’s a skill you’ll develop as a volunteer tutor and use in every aspect of your work.
- Professional development: It awakens a love of learning and an interest in a subject that may have been lost through everyday life or a professional focus.
- Problem solving: This kind of role develops initiative, flexibility, creative thinking, resilience and the ability to problem-solve.
- Management: Tutors nurture & encourage someone to do their best work & help a student to manage their workload – useful skills for management.
Why our tutors’ support is vital
When looking for volunteering opportunities we don’t always think about why such opportunities exist in the first place. At The Access Project, we are seeking to break down barriers in education. Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, like those on our programme, are almost 10 times less likely to go to a top university compared to their advantaged peers. Yes, we are seeing this slowly change, but this access gap for young people is due to stay for another 500 years if current trends remain.
Every time one of our volunteers sits down with their student, they are helping us take a step closer to closing the gap. The very fact that our tutors believe in their students’ education gives each young person on our programme the belief, drive and knowledge to knock down barriers they face.
“My tutor has not only helped me in maths, but also boosted my confidence. I am grateful to them for all the support I am receiving and couldn’t do it without them”. – Betty (Student)