The City Year volunteering scheme is to reach 17 schools and 10,000 pupils across two cities after launching in Birmingham for the first time this term.
Wearing eye-catching red jackets, the scheme sees volunteers aged 18 to 25 serving full-time in schools in deprived areas.
Copying a model from America, it launched in London three years ago and has just opened its doors in Birmingham. This year, 160 volunteers will work across 17 schools in both cities – 11 in London and six in Birmingham.
The volunteers will give 195,000 hours during this academic year, working with 10,000 children and also providing “intensive curriculum support” for 1,000 of the most vulnerable pupils.
The volunteers are drawn from local schools, universities and colleges and serve as “near-peer role models”, mentors and tutors.
Among the roles the volunteers will be taking on are encouraging punctuality and attendance, giving in-class support for teachers and teaching assistants, supporting children with specific needs such as literacy, numeracy, or building confidence, and leading after-school and breakfast clubs.
The role also offers the volunteers leadership training and career guidance sessions with some of the charity’s corporate backers.
Sophie Livingstone, CEO of City Year, said: “The next generation is proving that, given the opportunity, they can become local heroes, with the potential to change the worlds of deprived children growing up in their neighbourhood.
“Our ability to reach the 10,000 pupil landmark in our fourth year of operation in the UK is thanks to their exceptional talent, energy and dedication and we hope that the experience will empower them to continue to make a difference to their communities long after their City Year.”
Visit www.cityyear.org.uk CAPTION: Public service: A City Year volunteer working with students in London