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I Can Be

In the 2020-21 year, Withington started a new and exciting partnership with I Can Be. I Can Be is a small charity that aims to break down barriers to opportunity for disadvantaged children.

When organising Withington’s Careers Convention, Head of Careers, Mrs Nicki Cottam, asked participants whether they were happy to have their Convention video passed on to I Can Be for their resources bank and/or be contacted about volunteering for I Can Be by hosting a virtual visit.  Claire Daley (Deputy Director at I Can Be) also agreed to participate in the Careers Convention, and produced a pre-recorded video and hosted a group seminar on the night.

We are thrilled that because of this communication, throughout the summer term 10 WGS volunteers hosted 13 virtual visits for I Can Be. These visits included visits with 10 primary schools in 6 boroughs of Greater London which impacted 110 girls (aged 7–8), 57 (52%) of whom who were known to be eligible for Pupil Premium funding.

I Can Be’s partnership with WGS was a fantastic opportunity for I Can Be to recruit new and inspiring volunteers to their visits programme, in order to expand the range of professionals and jobs in their network. Working with WGS therefore gave I Can Be girls the opportunity to meet a wider range of volunteer professionals, and to learn about an inspiring range of jobs and careers. For example, thanks to the partnership, the girls at I Can Be had the opportunity to meet:

  • a dentist
  • a podcast producer
  • a barrister
  • a clinical psychologist
  • an architect
  • a TV production assistant
  • a banker
  • a nurse
  • a Formula 1 quality‑assurance manager.

During the programme, the girls asked WGS volunteers at least 57 questions and completed 13 verbal activities related to the jobs they were learning about.

Feedback from these events has been fantastic and a small summary of the lovely comments received are below. We very much look forward to our continued partnership with I Can Be in the future.

Feedback from schools about visits that were hosted by an WGS volunteer:

  • “The volunteer was excellent, and the girls thoroughly enjoyed it. We are really looking forward to our next session!”
  • “We had a great session this afternoon! The volunteer was great, and the children really enjoyed her activity. We look forward to our next visit!”

Feedback from WGS volunteers:

  • “It was my pleasure! I really enjoyed it and it was so well organised.”
  • “The teacher was brilliant at assisting with the session and the children were engaged and interested, so I couldn’t have asked for more really!”
  • “I really enjoyed it! It’s a great thing you’re doing, and I’m thrilled to be involved.”

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