City Year UK is a charity that is dedicated to improving the life chances of the next generation. By recruiting teams of 18-25 year old volunteers, known as corps members, who serve in schools in deprived communities for a year, City Year has a unique impact on educational inequality and the personal and professional development of the young people volunteering. Now, they are looking to build their growing movement for social change by recruiting members of staff to manage those volunteers.
About the roles
The roles being offered by City Year UK provide new prospects for people who have the capacity to work both as mentors and as managers, working closely with corps members to guide their activities, as well as with the schools that City Year UK partners with.
As a volunteering team officer, you’ll be inspiring young people to overcome any challenges they face during their volunteer service year and you’ll be dedicating your time to helping them develop core skills and grow into confident adults.
For these roles, some experience working in the education field is an advantage, but an undiluted commitment to making a difference is what City Year really looks for in its members. You may have a year’s teaching experience and find that teaching in a classroom is not exactly what you want to do, but you still want to remain in a school setting. Alternatively, you might be a programme manager with relationship management skills and a passion for education who wants to move into the charity sector.
"We're building a movement that says there is a serious educational inequality issue within Britain and acknowledges that we all have a duty to change it."
Become a ‘powerful idealist’
"We're building a movement that says there is a serious educational inequality issue within Britain and acknowledges that we all have a duty to change it", says Probert. "This is a charity that runs on the passion from everyone within it, driven by the optimism and enthusiasm of those that care about the state of their society and what they can do to make a difference", he adds.
City Year encourages these traits in their employees and potential hires. Their ‘Idealist Handbook’ offers a guide in which the ideal attitudes, beliefs and behaviours are listed to help encourage and empower those already working towards their cause. "The goal is to become a ‘powerful idealist’ - powerful because they recognise their ability to make a change," says Probert.
The future of City Year
By 2020, City Year plans to have a presence in a further three UK cities, in addition to London and Birmingham currently, with an additional 500 corp member volunteers. Their large scale vision is to encourage the UK government to recognise national civilian service - a year of full-time volunteering in a separate and stand alone category. This would have a similar status to being a full-time student, a retiree, or being employed. City Year US achieved this when it was five years old with the help of Bill Clinton, calling their service ‘Americorp’.
Probert concludes: "City Year focuses on creating a workforce dedicated to producing social change - to those working here, it’s not just a job, it’s an opportunity to proactively work towards the cause."