#2 in the Series "Voices of our Coaching Team"

Carrying on studying … carrying on at CoachBright

Hello everyone!

I have just graduated from the University of Exeter, where I was awarded a 2.1 with honours. I studied English Literature, and I am a few weeks away from beginning my Masters in Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham. I am very keen to start a new journey in Birmingham, however what makes it more exciting is that I am also beginning my new role as a Head Coach at CoachBright.

I volunteered with CoachBright as a Coach for two years in Exeter, which was one of the most rewarding things I did during my undergraduate studies. Therefore, I am thrilled that I am expanding my role here as well as developing my academic career. I am particularly interested in the “Culture” aspect of my Literature and Culture MA, as it combines my two interests in education and literature. Within any functional society, education is fundamental, as it provides the means to make withstanding contribution to culture. After completing my Masters, I intend to follow this interest further and potentially teach abroad. Educational inequality is something that I feel very passionately about. I understand that in this country, guaranteed education is something that can easily be taken for granted. However, it would be wrong and naive to assume that the UK does not harbour educational disparity. This is why volunteering for charities like CoachBright is crucial.

Unfortunately, university is becoming increasingly difficult to access. The fees are expensive, and the repayment schemes are becoming increasingly unappealing, particularly for students who come from low income backgrounds. Pupils born in disadvantaged families often attend state schools, which often lack sufficient funding. This means that facilities and educational opportunities are minimal and little time is spent encouraging and explaining how or why students should be going to university. Many of them do not even see university as an option, let alone a viable one. Consequently, pupils often lack self-esteem and they do not believe that they are “good enough” for higher education.

CoachBright works with these students on an invaluable one to one basis in order to raise their confidence in their personal and academic abilities. As university students, the coaches are knowledgeable of the reality of being at university, and how rewarding or daunting it can be. We can offer advice and support to encourage pupils to see their academic potential by focusing on subjects they find difficult.  Coaching can be a challenge for both the coach and the coachee, yet the sense of achievement they both achieve is incredibly rewarding. On a micro scale, you are having an impact on both the students’ and your own confidence; while on a macro scale, you are contributing to changing the unequal social landscape of educational opportunity.

I would recommend all university students to volunteer for CoachBright, regardless of what they study or what they do in their free. It is a social enterprise that is rapidly expanding and making a difference in students’ lives in both the short-term and long-term.

Blog post by Daisy Saunders