Careers in Ideas Week featured charities: The Access Project

For Careers in Ideas Week (16-22 November 2020), we’re running a series of posts featuring relevant charities and community interest groups. They are organisations with an interest in promoting social mobility as well as, in many cases, other forms of diversity. Here’s a post from the education charity The Access Project, telling us about what they do and how IP professionals can help them reach more young people. You can access a full Careers in Ideas directory of outreach organisations here – and look out for further information about the listed organisations during Careers in Ideas Week itself.


Did you have a mentor who sparked your passion for science? Have you ever thought about using your interests to inspire a young person? Then The Access Project will help you do this!

The Access Project is an education charity that matches bright young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with volunteer tutors, to help them get places at top universities. We are working towards a future where every young person, regardless of background, can make the most of education, unlocking their potential and creating a fairer society.

We work with GCSE and A-level students from schools in London, Birmingham and the East Midlands who are highly motivated, dedicated and talented.

Disadvantaged students have suffered disproportionate disruption to their learning due to COVID-19 – this year more than ever, your help will be vital in tackling inequality in education.


So many of our students hope to work with a tutor in Chemistry, Biology or Physics – we need you to help them catch up and excel in these subjects. But as well as helping them achieve better grades you’ll be a role model, building their confidence, developing their communication and giving them the skills to face even the most challenging circumstances – such as returning to school during a pandemic.

In 2019/20 more than 1300 tutors worked with 1500 students and had more than 16,000 tutorials. Volunteering is straightforward:

Josh works at a leading London-based intellectual property firm and joined TAP in 2020. When he applied, he told us:

“Since beginning my career last year, it has been impossible to ignore how privilege in its many forms is an invisible advantage to those who have it, and simultaneously an impenetrable barrier for those who do not…We cannot sit back and hope that British society will become fairer or more equal of its own accord. The struggle is ongoing, and we all have a part to play.

“I decided to apply as a tutor at TAP as I think it is one of the most effective ways that I can help to reduce inequality and increase social mobility in the UK today. If I can use my degree to assist just one person in school, into university, or into a career which would not have been available to them otherwise, it will have been worth it.”

By working with a student, you’ll give them a 4 x better chance of getting into a top university. We’ve seen that working with a volunteer tutor can boost students’ grades substantially at GCSE and A-level, so that 61% of students taking part in the programme secured a place at a top university in 2019.

This is what our volunteers told us last year:

“The tutorials are a great highlight of my week. [My student] is very enthusiastic, bright and eager to learn. Preparing for tutorials is always very intellectually stimulating and allows me to rediscover the subjects I had loved at school.”

And here is what our students say:

“My Access Project tutor cares about my education and my well-being. It’s because of their advice and support that getting top grades is within reach.”

We are really proud to be working with IP Inclusive – we hope that you will be able to join us to encourage students from the most diverse of backgrounds to engage with science and interest them in a career in IP. Visit to sign up or email if you’d like to find out more. The Access Project team is looking forward to hearing from you!




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