By Tiffany Chan
Charity tutoring project, Learning By Heart, has called for student volunteers to join their tutoring and management teams.
The charity, which operates a pay-as-you-feel model, is facing increasing demand for its services. Learning By Heart (LBH) wasfounded by Durham alumnus Naomi Green in May 2020. The non-profit project began as a response to the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns.
The scheme aims to challenge the “growing educational inequality in the UK and elsewhere” that young people face. LBH utilises a system of volunteer tutors, who offer support in their preferred subject. Students subscribed to LBH are charged on a pay-as-you-feel basis, facilitating accessibility to pupils from all income backgrounds.
The funds collected go towards the educational charities CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) and Education Cannot Wait. CAMFED supports female education in five sub-Saharan countries, while Education Cannot Wait aims to provide education to those living under humanitarian crises. So far, LBH has raised over £3000 for these charities.
In their year and a half of existence, LBH’s 40-strong team has created a substantial network of educational tools to support its students, including a second-hand textbook drive, university Q&A sessions, and webinars on issues like ‘feminism and education’.
With volunteers’ help, founder Naomi would like to take LBH further in being “a leader in social mobility” by increasing cooperation with universities and businesses “to reach all corners of the UK”. She hopes to expand into becoming “a substantial charity”.
Green told Palatinate that volunteers do not have to be experienced, but “passion and drive” were key. The application process includes an interview in which ideal applicants “can explain to you what it is about LBH that makes them want to volunteer”.
Green described her team as a “community”. Successful applicants would be welcomed into a reciprocal network of volunteers, where tutors can chat to each other and management staff adopt a “we’re there if you need us” approach. According to Green, about 80% of students are at the GCSE and A-level stage.
Apart from children, LBH also attracts adult students, offering “a more accessible option to those who couldn’t afford individual classes” or who want to get teaching qualifications. A range of subjects, including the sciences, Maths, and English, are available to students depending on tutor availability.
When asked about her experience with LBH, Green emphasised “the feeling of community that it’s grown into”. She told Palatinate that: “I’m learning from those around me and am constantly amazed and fulfilled by what a community it’s become”.
Image: Learning By Heart