Empowerment

We support students and our people to develop the skills and knowledge to accomplish their goals.

The Access Project has a rich culture of staff development, reward, and internal promotion. We pride ourselves on supporting our people to strive for excellence, ensuring we are delivering our high quality programmes to the young people who need us most.

In the 2022-23 academic year, a total of 18 members of staff were promoted: around 25% of our workforce.

In our December 2023 staff engagement survey, staff were asked their opinion on a number of areas, including their passion for our mission and their pride at working for The Access Project. Results showed:

“My colleagues at The Access Project are committed to the organisation’s success” – 4.7 out of 5

“I feel proud to tell people where I work” – 4.4 out of 5​

Meet our staff

Will is a Senior Programme Manager at The Access Project. Since joining the organisation as a University Access Officer, he has been empowered to step outside of his comfort zone, develop his skills, and progress in his career.

“I joined The Access Project in 2022 as Salesforce and Systems Manager looking after our CRM system as the sole administrator. Since then, I’ve been empowered, encouraged, and supported to grow and develop within the organisation. I’m proud to have progressed to my current role of Head of CRM Systems, building both my team and my skillset along the way.”

Natasha Beeson, Head of CRM Systems at The Access Project

Inclusion

We respect and value individuality and engage diverse voices to achieve our mission.

The Access Project is committed to being an organisation where everyone is welcome, appreciated, and respected. As part of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, launched in 2023, we aim to ensure that all those who work and volunteer for us are encouraged and enabled to be themselves and can thrive in an inclusive environment.

As part of this commitment, we have been awarded Disability Confident accreditation. As an employer, we recognise that people with disabilities are still under-represented in the workplace in the UK and continue to face stigma and discrimination at work. We have signed up to the Disability Confident scheme as an important step towards creating an even more positive and inclusive workplace culture.

Additionally, The Access Project is proud to have gained Mindful Employer status. By signing the Charter for Employers Positive About Mental Health, we are declaring our ambition to support the mental health and wellbeing of our employees, whilst joining a network of employers dedicated to improving mental health in the workplace.

We are a Living Wage Employer
Mindful Employer
Disability Confident Committed

How is The Access Project demonstrating this commitment?

  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • 24/7 access to a GP with same-day referrals and prescriptions
  • Staff team of trains Mental Health First Aiders
  • Remote and flexible working options
  • Regular in-person meetings and social events

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion vision

The Access Project is committed to being an organisation where everyone is welcome, appreciated, and respected. We recognise that by embracing diversity, our ability to meet the needs of the young people we support will improve, while fostering greater space for innovation and collaboration.

Impact

We evolve our programmes through an evidence-led approach, supporting our students to achieve their best outcomes.

Our annual impact report explores the results and growth of our programme. In 2023, students who completed The Access Project’s programmes were 50% more likely to attend a top university compared to statistically similar peers.

Courage

We encourage our students and our people to be authentic, innovative and ambitious in order to reach their full potential and deliver our mission.

When he was a child, Ras.I and his mum were left homeless in inner-city London. Facing extreme poverty, his family relied on food banks and he went to school with holes in his shoes.

Ras.I joined The Access Project when he was 15 years old. Our team helped him grow his aspirations and find a pathway to a brighter future. Now, he’s studying at the University of Oxford and has ambitions to become Prime Minister.

Ras.I spoke to The Access Project staff, partners and donors at our 15th anniversary celebration in October 2023.

Ownership

We hold ourselves accountable in all our actions and efforts. We ask “What can I do to improve my results?”.

We believe it’s important for each employee to feel ownership of their role in delivering our mission. We strive for our staff members to find their place within the organisation and to see the difference that they are making, whether in a student-facing or desk-based role.

Our yearly objective-setting process enables our staff to monitor their own progress and track performance using our online goals tool. We foster a culture of support with line managers being encouraged to discuss achievements and consider opportunities for further development and assistance.

Our Trustees

Our Trustees are responsible for overseeing the management and administration of The Access Project to ensure our work is on track to achieve our mission.

“When I first joined The Access Project, I was passionate, critically reflective, and eager to make a change. I feel that my enthusiasm has only been supported throughout my time here. I am grateful to be able to carry these learnings forward in my career in third sector education and youth work.”

Freya Neason, Design and Quality Manager at The Access Project