I believe that when children receive a solid education, they have the opportunity to achieve their potential in later life. There seems to be so much inequality in education at the moment and often children from refugee families or from families where there is need, do not seem to have the same opportunities as others. This can be simply because parents who have not grown up in the UK themselves, just do not understand the British education system and their children are disadvantaged as a result.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to reach out to a whole community of people, providing them with a service that is so simple yet could unlock so many doors for a child’s future?
In September 2015, a fantastic group of star volunteers at ChristChurch London started a new project in South London tutoring children in Years 4, 5 and 6 (aged 9–11) on local estates. We started out by inviting a few families that were recommended to us through existing refugee support charities and set up an hour on a Saturday morning, where children would have extra help in English and Maths, and other volunteers would chat with parents over coffee and cake. It was brilliant to build strong friendships with these families and they were so grateful for the help we were giving them. My personal highlight was feedback from one mum who said her son had been really anxious about his Year 6 SATs test in English and she had felt helpless at helping him as English is not her first language. After just 10 sessions, he has grown so much in confidence that his teacher has commented on how much he has improved. Imagine what he could achieve after 20 sessions!
Since then, demand has increased and we are looking to start the next ten-week programme beginning on the 13th August. The sessions will take place every Saturday morning for 10 weeks from 10:00–11:00am in Kennington. Everyone could help in some way, big or small: there are opportunities to teach a whole group of children, do 1:1 tuition, help with advertising the sessions to the families who need it most, chat to parents, serve teas and coffees or bake cakes.
If you wanted to be involved, I would ask that you did a minimum of 3 sessions across the 10 weeks (more if you want to!). To be able to meet the demand, we need to be building on the strong 8+ volunteers we have at the moment. If you are interested in getting involved, please do speak to me ().