Project information

Make It! - Mentoring young people in East London

Sometimes everyone needs a little bit of extra help. Make it! mentors disadvantaged 12 and 13 year old students in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney who are often overlooked in school, supporting them to boost their confidence, raise their aspirations and realise their potential.

November 2016 - July 2017

Charity information

Toynbee Hall

Toynbee Hall logo
  • Need


    Too often disadvantaged young people are defined by their backgrounds. Being told that you won’t achieve great things because of where you were born and your family’s income seriously damages young people’s self esteem.

    In fact, 1 in 5 children living in poverty feel like a failure and are not optimistic about their future- but this needn’t be the case. Make it! lets young people across East London believe in themselves again, to try new things, and to realise their potential.


    Make it! works with young people who are often overlooked in school. By working with their own mentor and taking part in group work sessions with fellow students on the programme, young people will develop their self-awareness, confidence, and the ability to make positive decisions about their own future. At the end of the project they also take part in a community activity, giving them the chance to break out of their comfort zone and try new things.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the self-awareness, confidence and communication skills of vulnerable young people


    » Partnering each student with a mentor to build up a positive adult relationship and receive social and emotional support
    » Delivering group sessions which reinforce the learning from one-to-one mentoring sessions allowing young people to put their skills into practice

    An increase in social and emotional wellbeing over the journey of intervention measured using a questionnaire completed by young people at the start and end of the project.

    Aim 2

    Improve school engagement, sense of belonging and connection with the community


    » Activity trips bringing young people from different schools together breaking down the barriers between young people and creating community cohesion

    This will be demonstrated by improved school attendance and report card rates, positive coordinator, parents/carers, teachers, mentor and mentee feedback.

  • Impact


    This project aims to break the cycle of poverty by raising the aspirations of children across East London, equipping them with the critical thinking and communication skills to make positive life choices.
    By maintaining and developing our relationships with partner schools, we will be able to monitor key indicators of success, such as attendance and exam results after our intervention. Success will also be seen by a greater number of schools participating and a high school retention rate.


    Specific risks to the project are (a) a lack of funds to enable scaling-up in 2016-17, (b) a lack of volunteers, (c) schools referring young people with extreme behavioural issues.

    These risks are managed through (a) a robust fundraising strategy including diversifying our sources of income, (b) a volunteer recruitment process using multiple channels, and (c) working closely with referring teachers.


    We have a range of channels in place to enable us to regularly report to donors. These are e-mail, letter, telephone and in person, as appropriate.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £116,755

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £66,005 Staff costs Full-time specialist Youth Workers and training
      £10,070 Mentoring and Group Work 16 hours of one-to-one mentoring and 8 hours of groupwork + volunteer training and qualifications
      £6,200 Activity Projects Residential, community and challenge based trips
      £34,480 Other Core Project Costs Project management, monitoring and evaluation, communication and rent

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Subsidised contributions from Schools £21,700 Conditional
    Funding from dedicated trusts & foundations £15,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    For the first time this year, Make It! will be open to schools in Hackney and Newham, as well as Tower Hamlets. There are ethnically and racially diverse areas and home to stark socioeconomic inequality. As the home of Canary Wharf, Tower Hamlets boasts an average salary of £78,000/pa, yet the borough has highest rate of child poverty in the UK at a staggering rate of 49% and over 9,300 households living in severely overcrowded accommodation.


    Students are referred to us by teachers from our partner schools. They will be in Year 8 (12-13 year olds) and have been on free school meals during a period in the last six years or are “looked after” children. They show one or a combination of: persistent absenteeism causing underachievement or risk of exclusion; poor family support networks; social isolation; poor emotional or social skills; currently receiving social services intervention or just fall short of the threshold.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Toynbee Hall works on the frontline in the struggle against poverty. Based in the East End of London we give some of the UK’s most deprived communities a voice, providing free advice and support and working with them to tackle social injustice. We have over 20 years experience working with vulnerable young people in local schools, using methods of active learning and informal education to improve and support young people’s emotional and social wellbeing. Make It! is our flagship youth programme.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Curtis Worrell, Project Coordinator

    Curtis has 10 years of experience in youth work, a degree in Informal Education and has just begun an MSc in Education, Power and Social Change.

    Evelyn Stanley, Project Worker

    Evelyn is a highly qualified youth worker who will be responsible for mentoring 15 young people, as well as for the the running of the project.


£50 will train a volunteer mentor to help a young person realise their aspirations