“I was one of the volunteers at the London 2012 Olympic games – and The Access Project was mentioned in one of their emails as a good volunteering opportunity,” Vicky explains to us. Vicky has been volunteering with The Access Project for over seven years now. 

What she likes about the experience is how specific tutoring is to her skills. “I could use the skills I have to really help somebody.”

Supporting students to beat the odds to secure places at top universities

Over the past seven years Vicky has tutored a number of students who have gone on to secure places at top universities. 

“My first was Ikram,” she tells us. “She went on to university and studied Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London. She’s now graduated from her Masters in Global Health & Social Justice (also at King’s) and is looking for full time work. To think I met her as a GCSE student – how far she’s come is really great to see. I always felt like she was going to do well. She had the right attitude even when I first met her.”

Ikram spoke highly of her time being tutored by Vicky. “I am grateful for the opportunity I had to work alongside Vicky through The Access Project,” she said. “Her out of hours support, patience and clear explanations proved immensely helpful with my Maths and Further Maths modules. Access to a tutor also helped improve my confidence in class and contributed to a significant advancement in my grades. Thank you to Vicky and The Access Project for your support during my studies!”

Vicky has helped us recruit volunteers

Vicky has helped to spread the word about our work to many people. “I’ve managed to get three or four colleagues to sign up,” she told us. Vicky works as an actuary at SCOR, one of the world’s largest reinsurers. Before COVID-19, the young people she tutored would come into the SCOR offices. 

These days tuition is online – which Vicky acknowledges has been easier when it comes to scheduling time with students: “It was harder to find a time before. With lockdown we could be a lot more flexible when we put tutorials in.”

“The perceptions people have of teenagers are so wrong”

One of the things Vicky has learnt in her seven years as a volunteer tutor is how the perceptions people have of teenagers are “so wrong.” 

“All you see is that they are obsessed with social media – but it couldn’t be further from the truth,” Vicky says. “All of the young people I’ve tutored have been friendly and really respectful. They’re keen to learn.”