This Volunteers’ Week, we’re spotlighting Mehmetcan – a former student on The Access Project programme who is now a dedicated volunteer, giving back to young people just like him.

Mehmetcan’s first experience with The Access Project came when he was in Year 10.

As a student on the programme for four years, Mehmetcan received invaluable tutoring in Chemistry, English and Maths to support him through his GCSEs and A levels.

Mehmetcan said: “The tutoring sessions helped grow my confidence at school. They helped me gather the skills needed to improve my grades and achieve my academic goals”. 

The Access Project not only supported Mehmetcan academically but also prepared him comprehensively for university life. Currently studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, Mehmetcan acknowledges the vital role The Access Project played in his journey.

He said: “The Access Project helped me to prepare in multiple ways for my next chapter at university. I was given guidance on how to pick the course that was best suited for me, assisted when writing my personal statement, and provided workshops on various aspects of university life – from financial advice to making the most of your time at university, such as joining societies”.

Inspired by his own journey with The Access Project, Mehmetcan decided to give back as a volunteer.

He explained: “After seeing firsthand how The Access Project can help and improve the academic journey of those who come from underprivileged backgrounds, I felt as though I could contribute to the positive changes The Access Project is bringing about”.

Now, Mehmetcan is a dedicated volunteer tutor. He works with a Year 10 student, tutoring GCSE Maths online for one hour a week.

He said: “We’ve gone through a lot of content and have answered a lot of questions. My tutee engages really well, always letting me know his thought process and asking questions when needing guidance. We talk about the skills and topics that need improving to allow him to achieve his desired goals”.

Mehmetcan and his student have built a positive working relationship and are on track to reach their goal of 20 tutorials before the end of the school years.

He added: “As each tutorial goes by, you and your student are building a relationship on communication and trust, which enables you to see your student grow in confidence and excel in many ways. It is very rewarding to witness”.

Mehmetcan’s journey from a student benefiting from The Access Project to a volunteer tutor highlights the profound, lasting impact of the programme. His story is a testament to the power of mentorship, the importance of academic support, and the rewarding nature of volunteering.

His final message to anybody thinking about volunteering? “It’s definitely worth it, knowing how much you can positively impact a young student by just volunteering an hour of your time a week”.