900 young people a year are going to be supported by a new learning centre opening in Oxford.
Run by charity IntoUndersity in collapboration with Oxford University and Christ Church, up to 80 student volunteers will assist with mentoring and after school support programmes for students in South and East Oxford. Members of Oxford outreach staff will also be assisting.
The centre in Blackbird Leys opened in November, but was officially launched on 3rd February, with IntoUniversity Tweeting that they were, “excited to celebrate with our students, staff and supporters”.
The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd. Prof Martyn Percy, said: “Christ Church is delighted to have initiated the setting up of the centre in Blackbird Leys. Christ Church and its students are supporting the centre through student mentoring, visits and events at our main site and financial contributions.
“We believe that the centre will significantly improve the life chances of some of Oxford’s least advantaged children”.
As well as after school academic support, the centre aims to offer mentoring programmes and a focused programmes designed to help young people to realise their aspirations.
IntoUniversity in Oxford will work with children and young people aged seven and older, in partnership with local schools and community organisations.
The centre in Blackbird Leys is the 18th established by IntoUniversity, and the first in Oxford. Other centres serve areas including London, Nottingham and Bristol, with around 16,000 young people participating in their programmes. In 2013, 82% of IntoUniversity school leavers attained a university place.
Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford University, said: “Oxford is delighted to be working with Christ Church and IntoUniversity on a sustained programme targeting children early in their educational careers right through to applying for university, apprenticeships or further training and education.
“Support for this programme from the local primary and secondary schools has been great and we look forward to working with them as this programme goes from strength to strength”.
Image: Ralph Williamson