When I talk to people about my job at Action Tutoring, they’re always keen to hear about the volunteering, and normally have lots of questions: what’s the commitment? Where do you do it? And most frequently – what qualifications and experience do you need? The biggest misconception is that you have to be a teacher, or have some experience teaching, to take part. By this point, they’ve often talked themselves out of getting involved. So, I then share…
“While previous experience working with young people can be helpful, former teachers actually only make up a small segment of our 800-strong tutor group.” Their reaction to this fact is normally one of surprise. Instead of years of teaching experience, what unites our volunteers is their passion and their determination to help young people to achieve. If you were to drop in on any one of our sessions, you’d see this so clearly in the interactions taking place.
Often our volunteers aren’t aware of the impact they are having on the pupils from week to week, but to us it’s very clear. The commitment they show just by turning up for an hour and the guidance they give go a long way in developing the young people’s confidence and self-belief. Our tutors provide pupils with space and support that they wouldn’t otherwise get and it makes a world of difference.
Our volunteers range in age from 18 to 80+ years (another fact that often surprises many) and we are proud to provide an opportunity that appeals to, and develops, such a broad range of individuals alongside the benefits experienced by the pupils.
We are passionate about supporting our volunteer tutors. Even if they come to us without any prior experience of working with young people, we want to empower and develop them to best support the pupils they work with and get the most out of their volunteering experience. We provide induction and top-up training, as well as constructive feedback and opportunities to engage with wider education and policy discussions.
The benefits of volunteering, in general, are widely publicised: increasing life satisfaction, better well-being and living longer. But there are many other great benefits you can get from volunteering with Action Tutoring:
- A chance to have a direct impact on young people in your community.
- Develop existing or new skills in tutoring, organisation and working with different personalities.
- Build up your own confidence, and that of the pupils you work with and meeting other volunteers from a whole range of different backgrounds.
So, whatever your background or previous experience, if you are keen to help young people and ensure they are given fair and equal opportunities, then we’d love to hear from you. Check out our tutor pages for our FAQs or apply straight away using our online application form.
“A friend recommended Action Tutoring to me, as I was looking to put something back into education during my retirement. I got involved because I dislike the fact that education in Britain is not a level playing field. Private tutoring is only accessible to those who can afford it and I passionately believe that it should be available to everyone, regardless of income. Since starting, I have learnt that you can make a difference to a young person’s life and that learning can be fun for both the pupil and the tutor. It’s been a blast and very satisfying!”
Peter Wills, 72, retired journalist and lecturer