Volunteer blog: Volunteer tutoring helped refresh my Spanish skills

The Access Project is proud to work with more than 1,000 volunteers who help change the lives of disadvantaged young people. This week, we’re featuring a guest blog from one of our volunteer tutors, Beth, who dedicates one hour per week to tutoring Spanish alongside full time work at Which?.

I am a digital policy adviser within the advocacy department at Which?, focusing on developing policy focused on consumer rights in areas such as artificial intelligence, data, and scams.

I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer as a tutor with The Access Project, as I’d been considering different volunteering opportunities and this one seemed the most flexible to fit around full-time work. I studied Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Manchester, so I thought that tutoring Spanish would be a great way to keep up my language skills whilst providing a student with an opportunity to attend university themselves. I also used to tutor Maths and English to groups of students so had a little experience, although this wasn’t needed as The Access Project provided a comprehensive training course before I started tutoring.

Online volunteer tutoring opportunities

The pairing process was very efficient and easy to follow. I was paired with a Year 12 Spanish A level student almost immediately after finishing my training and put in touch via e-mail by the University Access Officer. The Access Project’s tutoring platform is easy to navigate, so it was a simple process to set up my first tutorial, which was mainly an introduction and goal setting exercise.

It was a little nerve-wracking starting the sessions as it had been so long since I’d tutored, but as soon as we started chatting the nerves eased and it felt great to get started!

So far I am really enjoying tutoring. I’ve completed 15 tutorials and they’ve all been fun and engaging for both of us. Sometimes it can be challenging thinking of new activities to do each lesson, but luckily The Access Project provides a lot of support and ideas for lesson plans, as well as access to Kerboodle which has been really helpful. There is also a hub where tutors of the same subject can connect with each other. I haven’t used this yet but it’s a great initiative if tutors want to access tips and resources from other tutors.

Overall, I’ve had a great experience so far and urge anyone to get involved who’s looking for a flexible volunteering opportunity to fit around their work schedule. It’s also a great way to catch up on old GCSE, A level and degree subjects which have started to fade away amidst the chaos of working life.

The Access Project combats educational inequality through widening participation programmes, offering tutoring, mentoring and enrichment opportunities. We empower disadvantaged young people to realise their full potential.

Around 25% of our programme is paid for by schools. The rest is funded by university partners, corporate sponsorships, and donations from people like you. Your donation to The Access Project will give students the chance to thrive.

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