Why there is no better time than now to start volunteering
This International Volunteers Day, we’re celebrating the incredible work of volunteers across the world. At Tutor The Nation, we understand the importance of volunteering and are always on the lookout for ways we can inspire more people to get involved. It’s not always easy to find the right opportunity, especially when you’re new or just starting out. That’s why we were so excited when we heard from Steph, our Volunteer Ambassador, who wanted to share her story and tips on how she found her calling: helping others!
It goes without saying that the past few years have been difficult for everyone, with the education sector being particularly badly affected. In lockdown, the amount of time students spent working decreased from six hours to well under three per day; nearly half of children weren’t provided with any online resources at all in March 2020; and on average, secondary school students are almost three months behind where they’re expected to be. It’s clear that many students across the country need as much help as possible to catch up after the pandemic, and volunteering has become more vital than ever to achieve this goal.
The impact of Covid-19 on education has evidently been disastrous, and many teachers and schools simply don’t have the resources to allow their students to make as much progress as they need to in order to reverse the lack of progress made over the last few years. In the most deprived communities in the country, teachers reported that only 30% of their students actually handed in any work during lockdown – and you can only imagine the detrimental impact this has had on their attainment, achievement, and confidence within an academic setting, even a couple of years down the line.
This is where Tutor the Nation comes in! Having come from a state school myself, which struggled to support students during lockdown due to its rural location, it was evident to me that something needed to be done to help other students like myself succeed in these challenging times. Joining Tutor the Nation as a tutor in my free time has been so incredibly rewarding and having the opportunity to tutor young people and see the rapid progress they make in their studies whilst being tutored has been such a highlight of my time at university. Since 2020, over 350 students from deprived areas of the UK have been supported in over 40 GCSE and A-level subjects, which has made a hugely positive impact on these students, with some even describing it as an ‘opportunity of a lifetime’.
Despite the challenges of recent times, the work that volunteers do really is a demonstration of how dedicating just a tiny proportion of your free time to volunteer can have massive effects on students who are struggling the most. Since joining Tutor the Nation last year, I have become an ambassador to help spread the word and encourage others to get involved. It truly is the most gratifying experience, and I would ask anyone at all to consider getting involved – after all, there is no better time than now to start volunteering!
Ofsted (2022) Education Recovery in Schools: Summer 2022, GOV.UK.
By Stephanie Stankard