This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I fully enjoyed my placement with city year UK, helping to change the world for disadvantaged children by acting as near peer role models both inside and outside of the classroom.
I worked in a team of 8 volunteers, we were all from extremely diverse backgrounds. These differences brought us closer together and we were a very close team and were very supportive of one another
My team leader was amazing. She had worked at the school as a city year volunteer the year before and therefore had a very clear understanding of our role and the journey we would undertake that year. I couldn't have asked for somebody more supportive.
The days at school were extremely busy, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. No two days were the same but going in in the morning to see the children's smiling faces and willingness to learn was amazing. You really felt like you were making a difference every day.
In the school I was allocated focus children and we had full responsibility for working with these children every single day to improve the various things that were the reasons they had been highlighted as focus children. This could be attendance issues, poor behaviour or that they needed to develop their social skills.
Everything I learnt at city year will help me at some point in my life. Organisation and timekeeping will be invaluable in my final year at Uni. Patience and resilience with the children will be beneficial for my future career in teaching. I learnt more in the past year than I ever have.
We had a small office as a team and this was a place where we could relax at break times or talk through any issues or worries we wee having with our team leader. We could talk to team members who would have properly faced similar situations before. It was a very comfortable environment.
City year UK has been running for five years now and therefore the year of service is very well organised. Every school is different but City year clearly outline their vision and what their role is in schools to any new partner schools so that it is clear why the volunteers are there.
Every Friday was a leadership development day. This focused on personal development and leadership after City year. We were given corporate mentors and work shadowing opportunities. We were given cv and cover letter advice along with talks from professionals in various employment sectors. There were people we could go to if we wanted to talk about our future career paths at any time during the week.
Above 25 days holiday
There is the opportunity to become an impact officer after volunteering, however this is very competitive as there are not many positions available.
There were many events organised throughout the year that enabled us to socialise with one another outside of the work environment.
The cost of living, due to being in the centre of Birmingham was not particularly cheap but it was not too expensive as I lived in a student house with other volunteers. It was quite expensive to socialise in the city centre.
The night life on broad street is not brilliant, however there are some amazing restaurants and cocktail bars which usually make for a much better night out anyway!
There is so much to do in Birmingham and therefore in the evenings there is loads you can do. There are gyms and swimming pools along with exercise classes. If you are more social there are cinemas, bowling alleys and restaurants.
Placement Year (10 Months+)