About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Action Tutoring

Action Tutoring is tackling educational disadvantage by offering free tuition for students who need extra help with GCSE English or Maths, working with volunteers.

When it comes to education, one-on-one tutoring is one of the most effective ways of learning. But private tutors are expensive, and simply not an option for many students who could really benefit from this approach. Action Tutoring wants to change this.

The organisation is working with volunteers – many of whom are undergraduates – to deliver targeted eight-week programmes to tutor students who need extra help to get at least a C in GCSE English or Maths, opening the door to further education and employment opportunities.

Schools pay for the tuition at an affordable rate, keeping it free for families and providing Action Tutoring with a solid revenue stream.

Action Tutoring has been awarded £167,989 (including £15k for evaluation) to support and scale the organisation and increase the capacity of the central team. Currently working in 40 London schools (plus new programmes in Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool), this support will help the programme reach 60 new schools across the UK – helping an additional 4,275 pupils.

Find out more: www.actiontutoring.org.uk

Image credit: Action Tutoring

City Year UK

City Year UK has an ambitious goal – to make a ‘year of service’ (full-time volunteering) in schools a typical part of young adulthood.

City Year UK trains young adults from diverse backgrounds to spend 11 months volunteering full-time in schools in deprived urban areas. The aim is to benefit both parties – offering volunteers (aged 18 to 25) great opportunities for personal and professional skills development, while supporting struggling pupils to engage with learning in a variety of ways.

Based on a successful US initiative, City Year UK wants a ‘year of service’ to become so engrained in UK culture that: “Where are you going to do your service year?” becomes a frequently asked – and universally understood – question. In the US, the programme works in 25 sites and led to the creation of the Corporation for National and Community Service – a $1bn federal programme which facilitates more than 5 million volunteers to serve in schools, communities and public agencies through the well-known Americorps.

Currently working in 12 schools in London and seven in Birmingham, City Year UK has been awarded £451,146 (including £25k for evaluation) to enhance its offering to schools, including further investment in training for volunteers. Some of the money is also seed funding to enable expansion into Manchester if they can raise £1.025M in match funding.

Find out more: www.cityyear.org.uk

Code Club

Code Club is a network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs, teaching young people how to build digital products like websites, animations or computer games.

Code Club is a network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs, teaching young people how to build digital products like websites, animations and computer games. Its vision is to be in half of all primary schools by 2018.

In an increasingly digital economy, knowing how to create new technologies (rather than simply using them) is a fundamental skill. Code Club is helping equip young people with the skills they’ll need to thrive in the jobs and society of the future through its network of free, after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.

While some are led by teachers, more than half are currently led by volunteers who visit their local primary school for an hour a week. There, they help students take on fun, creative projects that teach them the basics of how to make everything from websites to computer games.

In March 2014, Code Club was awarded £384,000 (including £50,000 for evaluation) to significantly scale up the volunteer-led part of the network. Following a successful start, in November 2014 we awarded Code Club a further £475,000 (including a further £33,870 for evaluation) to accelerate its growth. By the end of the grant in March 2016, Code Club will have reached almost 5,000 clubs in England and the organisation will be on a trajectory to reach half the primary schools in the UK by July 2018.

Find out more: www.codeclub.org.uk

Image credit: Code Club

Team Up

Team Up trains outstanding university students to voluntarily work with secondary school pupils who need extra help to improve their grades and realise their potential.

Team Up trains passionate university students to tutor secondary school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. They volunteer as part of a Leadership Development Programme and work one-on-one or in small groups with pupils once a week, helping them improve their grades in a particular subject, build their confidence and raise their aspirations.

Team Up has been awarded £180,000 (including £10,000 for evaluation) to increase the capacity of the central team and develop a new regional structure, helping it significantly expand its reach to help 3,000 young people on an ongoing basis, supported by 20 university societies giving 36,000 hours of social action each year.

The CSA Innovation Fund is backing several projects using volunteer tutors to tackle educational disadvantage, to test and scale different models. Unlike other programmes, Team Up works with secondary school pupils of all ages and achievement levels, and all volunteers are undergraduates. In each university a dedicated society is established to recruit volunteers and drum up enthusiasm for the project.

Find out more: www.teamup.org.uk

The Access Project

The Access Project matches business volunteers with motivated students from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them progress to top universities.

Over the last 10 years, access to Higher Education has increased. But access to the most prestigious universities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds has actually fallen. The Access Project is using social action to address this problem by encouraging business volunteers to tutor students from low-income families, to help them get into top universities.

Volunteers deliver one-to-one tuition, for an hour a week, aimed at improving the student’s academic achievements. The Access Project also delivers targeted sessions covering areas such as interview practice and how to write a winning personal statement.

The project is already running successfully in 13 London schools, working with up to 100 students in each school. The Access Project has been awarded £85,963 (+ £15k for evaluation) to expand the project outside the capital.

First stop: Birmingham, where there are 25 secondary schools with more than 30% of pupils on Free School Meals, (second only to London), as well as a healthy supply of potential volunteers, with many large graduate recruiters based here. With our funding, The Access Project will facilitate 4,500 hours of volunteer tutoring in four Birmingham schools by late 2015.

Find out more: www.theaccessproject.org.uk

TLG Early Intervention Programme

TLG Early Intervention programme trains volunteers to work with primary aged children to tackle behavioural problems and build their confidence.

More than 37,000 children are excluded from primary school each year, which often leads to further problems in adolescence and later life. But the earlier a child is supported to change their behaviour, the more likely it is they’ll stay on the right path.

TLG’s Early Intervention Programme trains volunteer coaches to work one-on-one with a child who’s struggling for at least an hour a week, helping them to understand their feelings, develop coping strategies, build their confidence and ultimately, fulfil their potential.

To deliver the programme TLG has established 14 hubs, each in partnership with a local church, to recruit and train volunteers locally. (While TLG is a Christian charity, the programme is available to children of all faiths, or none).

TLG has been awarded £312,830 (+ £15k for evaluation) to establish hubs in 68 new areas over the next two years, enabling the organisation to work with more than 600 children a year.

Find out more: www.tlg.org.uk

Image credit: TLG