We've moved!

This donation page is on the old Big Give website. Please go to theBigGive.org.uk to find current campaigns and opportunities to double your donation.

If you have any queries on the changes, please email us at info@thebiggive.org.uk.

Project information

Volunteer tutors for disadvantaged young people

The Access Project works with bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them gain access to top universities.

This project will provide support and tuition to 1360 students in 34 partner schools across London, East Midlands and West Midlands.

1 year

Charity information: The Access Project

The Access Project logo
  • Need


    In the UK today, your family’s income determines your chances of reaching a top university: young people from the most advantaged backgrounds were almost 10 times more likely to get a place at a top university than the least advantaged.

    The university access gap matters: for young people, their families and the communities they live in. We believe that too many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are missing the opportunity to realise their potential.


    We know how to change this.

    Our programme is unique as we are the only charity to combine:

    1) volunteer-led tutorials to address attainment as the first barrier to attending university for disadvantaged young people, and

    2) professionally delivered university mentoring sessions to address lower application and offer rates - this is the second key barrier to attending university for disadvantaged young people.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Help 1360 young people from disadvantaged families go to a top university


    » Matching students with volunteer tutors in their chosen subjects to increase their grades, confidence and self-belief.
    » In-school mentoring to help students apply for university and be universality ready.
    » Forming partnerships with 3 new schools, increasing our total number of school partners to 34 in London, West Midlands and East Midlands.

    What success will look like

    We monitor students’ progress through a comprehensive range of processes. We work with pro-bono partners to conduct surveys and undertake control group analyses.

    Aim 2

    Build capacity so we can scale to work with 10,000 students by 2030.


    » Launching online tutorials for students in partner schools in West Midlands and East Midlands.

    What success will look like

    We will monitor online tutorials through the same comprehensive systems we use to monitor face-to-face tutorials. We will also seek feedback from volunteers, students and schools.

  • Impact


    Success will mean that, by 2020, The Access Project will be working with 2,000 young people and set to scale further: nationally and sustainably. Indeed, we have outlined a potential path to scale with the ambition of reaching 10,000 young people by 2030. This would see us working in partnership with 250 schools in deprived

    Realising this goal would be significant for our society and would help young people from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential.


    Recruiting enough volunteer tutors in the right areas is the biggest challenge to our growth ambitions.

    As part of the solution to this challenge, and in addition to launching online tutorials, we will launch new online volunteer recruitment campaigns and explore the possibility of training volunteers online (so we could recruit volunteers in regions where we do not have any partner schools).


    We will be delighted to provide donors with written updates, stories of success and videos from our students.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £850,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £612,000 School based programme Delivering and managing in-school mentoring programme in 34 schools
      £170,000 Volunteer management Recruiting, training and supporting volunteer tutors
      £68,000 University readiness activity After-school societies and university trips

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    School partnerships (business sponsorship £120,000 Conditional
  • Background


    We work with schools across London, Birmingham and the Black Country, and the East Midlands towns of Ashfield, Mansfield and Shirebrook.

    Our impact is proven and we have an ambitious plan to grow nationwide.


    We are now working in 28 schools, with over 1,000 tutors supporting 1,250 students.

    We work with students who have the academic ability to get into a top university and who come from backgrounds that are underrepresented at top universities. We work with schools to select students by looking at a number of indicators to make sure we work with those who need us most.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    A young person who has participated in The Access Project’s programme is more than twice as likely to go to a top university than another student with the same academic track record and background.

    “The work that we do with The Access Project is seamless, the team work with our students in delivering value and extra support exactly where it is needed. It is a model of best practice.”
    Andrew Burns, Principal, Ormiston Forge Academy

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Our Team Of University Access Officers

    Access Officers provide expert advice to build students’ knowledge and understanding of universities and courses, and provide one-to support.

    Volunteer Tutors

    Tutoring students like Emre: “I am feeling more confident in English and will become even more confident in the future."