We spoke with two of our incredible tutors – Eleanor and Julie – who both work at Aspect Capital. Between the two of them they have tutored disadvantaged young people on The Access Project for over seven years!

Aspect Capital is one of our volunteer partners and have been for a few years now. When Eleanor first joined her work she was told about this partnership with The Access Project and decided to volunteer. Julie was introduced to us through Aspect Capital’s Charity Committee, that Eleanor was a member of.

Eleanor tutors in Maths

Eleanor tutors A level Maths. “I’ve tutored several people over the years,” she said. “Some have gone on to study Maths at university, others have gone on to do Chemistry or Medicine. The girl that I tutored over the last two years had times when she didn’t believe in her ability, and I was pleased that I could reassure her how good she was, and help her grow in confidence.”

Eleanor studied Maths at university and uses her skills a lot in her role at Aspect Capital. “It’s not the most diverse subject – so it’s nice that I feel I can contribute to improving this through tutoring at The Access Project.”

Eleanor tutored during the numerous lockdowns of the COVID-19 crisis. “I don’t have children of my own, so I didn’t see first-hand the impact that the pandemic was having on young people. But talking to my students, I heard how stressful it was for them – houses full of people with no proper work space, not having any interactions with their teachers. Although I’d read about all the disruption to education, it was speaking to my students which really brought it home.”

Julie tutors French

Julie tutors in French. She has worked with one young person over two years. “I was really impressed with her from the very first time I met her, in person, before the pandemic,” Julie explained. “She wanted an A in French and her level was already good. She was incredibly smart, but just needed a little bit of a confidence boost and I was so glad I could help her there.”

“For her A level exams she had to speak French in front of strangers about tough topics like the Second World War and its implications on immigration and today’s rise in tensions. The whole thing in French! It’s very nerve wracking. The morning of her A level we went over one topic which actually ended up being the topic that came up in the exam.”

Julie feels that she has been supported by The Access Project on her journey to become a tutor. “I felt their training was really good. I didn’t know what to expect, but everybody was very encouraging and  knowledgeable – I’ve learnt loads about safeguarding in my time volunteering.”

The rewards of volunteering

Both Eleanor and Julie are incredibly passionate about tutoring with The Access Project. “I think it’s made me a better person,” Julie told us. “I have always been aware of how fortunate I am – my parents could help me answer questions I had about university for instance or help with homework. I wanted to give back. It’s giving time and attention and care to someone you don’t know. I’m really proud of myself for doing this and I’m so proud of the young person I tutored. She was so determined and bright – she seemed so mature and had such a drive that it was really rewarding to help someone so keen to succeed and learn. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

They have both been taking an active part in recruiting other volunteer tutors at Aspect Capital – four of whom have recently undertaken training. “Our message to staff is always: do it!” Eleanor said.

Julie added: “It’s challenging and it’s a commitment you make. Helping and giving a young person an opportunity – you’re making an impact on a child’s life. It’s incredibly rewarding.”