The Reach Out Project was founded in 2017 by friends Lillian and Michaela, to help combat the lack of social, cultural and enriching opportunities afforded to young people living in inner-city London.
It came after the pair went to a sold-out Stormzy gig at the Brixton O2 Academy in 2017. They noticed that although Stormzy represented the youth of inner-city London, his audience that night did not reflect that. A large part of the chaperoned audience were young, Caucasian children. Outside the venue, however, on the streets of Brixton, were many young people of African & Caribbean descent.
Lillian and Michaela spotted a paradox between those enjoying the gig, and those outside the venue. It was at that moment the idea for a community project was born; one that would give young people in London the opportunity to access cultural experiences that they otherwise could not afford or would not have access to.
So, for the 2017/18 academic year, they partnered with The Archbishop Lanfranc Academy in Croydon to provide a packaged service designed to give young people access to a range of cultural opportunities, tailored mentoring sessions and access to work experience.
In 2018, The Reach Out Project expanded its team to include Emmanuel, an experienced youth worker who shared Lillian and Michaela’s passion for changing the narrative of young African & Caribbean boys in London. Shortly after, The Reach Out Project became a registered Community Interest Company.
By 2019, the number of young people on the programme increased by 150% and The Reach Out Project proudly announced their official partnership with Arsenal Football Club legend, Ian Wright. The Reach Out Project also received funding via The Cadet Trust, a charity created in memory of South London music artist Blaine ‘Cadet’ Johnson.
Emmanuel is a Primary School Teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator with more than 10 years of experience. He is passionate about changing the narrative for disadvantaged young people and he's big part of helping The Reach Out Project achieving this objective.
Michaela has been a Secondary School English Teacher since 2013. She loves working with young people and specialises in pastoral care, and is excited for the change The Reach Out Project will bring to students
Lillian is a Chartered Accountant and has been working with young people since 2017. She is passionate about creating opportunities for young people and hopes The Reach Out Project can be a model for how all young people are supported.
Reduce the frequency in which disengaged students are excluded from school.
Increase school attendance of students on the programme.
Engage young people with new and enriching social opportunities.
Inspire young people to have higher career aspirations.