Why We Exist
Theory of Change
upReach’s vision is of a society in which everybody has an equal opportunity to realise their full career potential, regardless of social background.
Socio-economic disadvantage continues to be the most significant driver of inequality in terms of access to and outcomes from higher education.
We take a ‘double benefit’ approach to address the social mobility challenge.
We help young people achieve their career potential by providing an intensive programme of support that addresses socio-economic barriers to employment.
We also work to influence the hiring behaviours of top organisations so that a commitment to equal opportunity permeates their organisational culture and they recognise the social and economic value of greater diversity within their workforce.
Founded in 2012, upReach began by supporting an initial cohort of 39 Associates. Following steady growth, in 2018/19 we anticipate working with 1100 Associates, and are planning to support 2000 students per year by 2020/21. Of upReach Associates who graduated in 2016:
Our expertise is supporting upReach Associates to access top jobs in:
John has been actively involved in social mobility since founding the successful Cambridge University Shadowing Scheme in 1999. Since joining as CEO in January 2016, upReach has tripled in size, providing a more personalised, comprehensive and impactful programme of support to students in close partnership with employers, universities and the third sector. Prior to joining upReach, he spent 11 years in investment banking, and as a Lead Practitioner, taught Maths and Economics in state and independent schools. A charity trustee for seven years, John likes skiing, marathons, coffee and red wine.
Laura manages our Rise and Aim Programmes and is responsible for measuring our impact and managing our mentoring and alumni activities. She was drawn to upReach because of its strong social mission, its ambitious outlook and young, fun team.
Eugene joined upReach because he wanted to see students access the opportunities they deserve. He is responsible for developing and managing relationships with upReach’s Employer Partners. He likes hockey, cycling and all things behavioural economics-related.
Stephanie joined upReach after working in the Corporate world as a tax director for 25yrs and is working closely with our Professional Services partners. She wanted to join upReach so she could share insights she gained while developing her own career with Associates as they are launching their careers. She is also responsible for developing and managing the relationships with University partners.
Madeleine joined upReach because she is passionate about education and believes that the collaboration of universities, employers and a charity is the best way to tackle social mobility. She manages our tech platforms and works with the team to continue creating new and engaging tools. She loves yoga, running and travelling.
Gavin is responsible for all things finance-related at upReach. Before making a career shift into the Third Sector and re-training as a Management Accountant, he co-founded and ran a niche recruitment business for over 10 years. Prior to joining upReach, Gavin worked as Finance and Administration Manager for a leading Arts Charity in East London. When not staring at various spreadsheets, he enjoys theatre and quality box-sets.
Hannah is the Sector Programmes and Mentoring Manager. She joined upReach because she wants to help students reach their full potential, and ensure that no one feels their background can stop them from achieving their career goals. Her favourite things are tea, cake, and history.
Emily joined upReach as she is particularly keen to help individuals realise their full potential regardless of where they grew up. She has field experience of teaching, development and leadership across a variety of continents. Her interests include travel, culture, outdoors and adventure. So far Emily has been to 33 countries… and counting!
Olivia is our Fundraising Manager, and coordinates the Rise London programme in partnership with John Lyon’s Charity. After working to help prepare sixth formers for the transition to university, she was attracted to upReach’s focus on the transition which follows, between university and employment. Olivia enjoys travelling and has researched primates in various rainforests in the tropics.
Liam is coordinating the upReach University Societies. He joined upReach because he is passionate about bridging the attainment gap in graduate employment for students from different backgrounds. In his spare time, Liam enjoys football, travelling and cycling everywhere he can.
Throughout his time at university David helped sixth form students from less-privileged backgrounds overcome the many barriers to university. He came to realise that it was these students that needed extra support during the transition which follows university, into employment. This is why he joined upReach. David has a strong interest in history and enjoys playing any sport that is thrown his way.
Gemma is a Programme Coordinator based in Manchester. With a passion for social mobility, Gemma joined upReach because she believes that we need to invest more in creating equal opportunities. Her hobbies include fitness, cooking and everything outdoorsy!
Kiran works as a Programme Coordinator and is based in the Manchester office alongside Gemma. He joined upReach as he was looking for an organisation that had strong core values and a clear idea of how to make a positive change within society. Kiran is also passionate about Music and History having studied both subjects in a joint honours degree at Leeds University.
Aine is a Programme Coordinator at upReach she is also currently supporting the team in the application process for new Associates. She is a graduate of the Irish Center for Human Rights and is passionate about social justice. She is excited to work with upReach as she has long been an advocate for access to equal opportunities for all, regardless of social background. Aine enjoys reading, music, and playing with her dog on the beach.
Noshin joined upReach having previously been an Associate whilst at university. She joined upReach as she is passionate about social mobility and believes workplaces can thrive with greater social diversity. Noshin enjoys baking, reading and everything to do with economic history.
Beth joined upReach because she loves working with young people and is passionate about social mobility. She has previously worked with students of diverse backgrounds to improve the accessibility of higher education in Bristol and London and is excited to support students with the next step. She enjoys playing netball, escaping to the country and generally keeping busy!
Andy joined upReach because he is passionate about ensuring that all students have the knowledge needed to access opportunities that will allow them to develop the skills to go on to access top graduate jobs. His role is to support a new cohort of aspiring law professionals in doing exactly that. In his spare time, he likes to read, spend time in the great outdoors and travel overseas.
Having been an upReach associate at the University of Exeter, Niamh was very keen to join upReach to be part of their ambitious vision to facilitate equal access to opportunities and to work with a diverse and interesting group of Associates. Before joining upReach she studied Middle East Studies and taught English to children and university students abroad.
Yolanda joined upReach because of her passion for contributing to social change and mentoring young people from under-represented communities. Before completing her Masters in African Studies at the University of Oxford, Yolanda was a member of the Executive Team for the Patchwork Foundation Masterclass Programme, further propelling her to pursue a career whereby she can have a positive social impact. Yolanda enjoys museums and anything to do with colonial history.
Katie joined upReach on an 8 week internship through her university. She has a passion for encouraging social change within society, and helping to transform values within the education system. Katie currently studies Psychology at the University of Sussex and is the Captain of her cheerleading squad.
Beatrice joined upReach as she is passionate about transforming social mobility across the UK, especially for marginalised groups. She has previously worked in youth organisations aimed at social change and development and is keen on travelling!
Mark is a strategic communications professional who specialises in working with education institutions and research bodies. He started his career working in think tanks and then went on to serve as Director of Communications at the 1994 Group of Universities, Head of Strategic Communications at GSM London and is now Head of Policy and Communications at Abellio Group.
Dr. Graeme Atherton is an international leader & researcher in the field of access and diversity in higher education. Graeme founded and leads both AccessHE and the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON). He holds Visiting Professorships at London Metropolitan University, Amity Business School and Sunway University, Kuala Lumpur. He also wrote ‘Charting Equity: Drawing the Global Access Map’ and ‘Access to Higher Education: Understanding Global Inequalities’.
Azhar studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Exeter. Having recently graduated, he is working as a Management consultant and served as a Trustee at the University of Exeter Student’s Guild.
Mikayla is a Senior Associate Consultant at Bain & Company, where she’s been working for two years. Prior to this, she completed a BSc in Government and Economics at LSE.
Katy Ingle is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, covering Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region within the EMEA Talent function. She leads a team in creating and leading on the organisations diversity and inclusion strategy, including partnering with HR partners to embed diversity and inclusion practice into our business and people strategies, oversight of our Employee Networks and partnering with external organisations in order to maximize our diversity and inclusion efforts.
Al is an experienced Financial and Operational Turnaround Executive, currently working in McKinsey’s Restructuring Team. Before joining McKinsey, Al qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC in their Restructuring Team where he spent 14 years working on assignments based out of London, New York, Zurich and Paris.
Alex is currently working as an associate at AllianceBernstein in Fixed Income. Prior to this he completed placements in Corporate Finance and Private Banking. He holds an MSc in Economic History from The London School of Economics.
Valentina works as Assistant Project Manager at Lendlease. Prior to this, she completed a BA in English Language and Communication at Kings College London where she also worked as a Research Assistant. Her first published article, ‘UK higher education institutions’ technology-enhanced learning strategies from the perspective of disruptive innovation’, was published by the Research in Learning Technology and the Distance Education in China academic journals.
Associate at Mishcon de Reya LLP, Founder & CEO of The Student Development Co., Founder & CEO of Career Ear.
Dr. Louise Ashley specialises in researching diversity and inclusion across leading professions. In 2015 and 2016, she led the teams appointed by the government’s Social Mobility Commission to identify and understand barriers to the elite professions on the basis of socio-economic background.
Dinti began her career as an international lawyer at Linklaters and FremantleMedia, gaining an MBA at INSEAD. Politically active for over a decade as a policy-maker and campaigner, she is also a trustee of the Fawcett Society and board member of the Arnold Foundation.
Phillip is a Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, having previously worked at the University of Cambridge and University of Kent at Canterbury. He is widely recognised for his international work on education, employability and labour markets. He is currently studying talent management, corporate change and the future of work.
Julia currently works at Mercer as an HR Business partner within the HR Regional Leadership team focusing on Europe. Previously she managed the sourcing, selection and screening of candidates for junior positions in a dynamic management consultancy. Strongly committed to diversity and inclusion, she was involved in setting up D&I initiatives for the London office and led the partnership with upReach.
Nick works within the Clara Analytics Team at KPMG. He was previously in Graduate Recruitment and Outreach at KPMG. In 2015, Nick created and delivered Professional Experience Programmes for students across the UK as well as attending policy discussions and debates around social mobility, barriers to work and higher education.
Kate is VP, Head of Talent Marketing at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She has been with the bank for 9 years, across a variety of Junior Talent and Employment Brand roles in Hong Kong and London. She partners with the banks Diversity & Inclusion team on key initiatives.
Katy is SVP Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She has been with Bank of America Merrill Lynch collectively for over 12 years, across a variety of leadership roles in Staffing and Global Human Resources across the UK and Ireland.
Deborah was part of the founding team at upReach, where she worked for almost four years in a number of different roles including leading the first Associate programmes. She is currently a diversity recruiter at McKinsey & Company.
Kate has over 20 years’ experience working as a careers Consultant/Coach and is passionate about supporting individuals to fulfil their career potential. Based for the last 10 years in the Higher Education sector with a particular focus on widening participation, she is now working at the University of Exeter.
Rachel is the Resourcing Lead for Aviva in the UK. She has worked at Aviva for 17 years in a variety of HR roles across talent, recruitment and business partnering. Prior to joining Aviva Rachel worked for over 10 years at British Airways Holidays in Customer Service management roles. Rachel is passionate about helping to unlock opportunities for people, at all career stages, to enable them to do the best work of their lives.
Richard Kennett is the Director of UK Student Recruitment and Outreach at the University of Southampton. He chairs the Southern Universities Network Management Group that contains the six Hampshire and Dorset universities working together on the National Collaborative Outreach Programme. Previously he chaired the Russell Group Widening Participation Association.
Michael LeoValan is the co-founder and CTO of JMAN Group. Leo is passionate about technology, with over 25 years of deep technical background and multiple leadership roles in Silicon Valley, CA and in India. He advises product startups and large corporations on digital transformation and data strategies. His belief in equal opportunity for different social classes has brought him closer to upReach.
Tania is Career Mentoring Manager and Doctoral Researcher at the University of Reading. Her research focuses on the impact of social diversity on the success of career mentoring partnerships in Higher Education. Tania also has experience of graduate recruitment for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Emma Moore is the Head of Careers & Employability at the University of Liverpool. She chairs the AGCAS Employer Engagement Task Group sharing best practice around university and employer engagement nationally. Emma is also a member of the AGR Policy Group.
Reggie Nelson is a Graduate Analyst at Legal and General Investment Management; is currently the Group Chair for ACCA Emerging Talent Advisory Group, and has previously worked with the Cabinet Office and Downing St to help tackle ethnic and social disparities
Emma is a CSR professional with over 20 years experience, managing Allen & Overy’s educational programmes with a particular focus on social mobility. Emma has a been a Trustee of the London Legal Support Trust since 2011 and in her previous role managed the firm’s pro bono legal advice clinic work.
Sarah led City Gateway’s corporate partnerships team and oversaw the creation of over 1000 jobs for disadvantaged young people. Today she is responsible for Development and Communications at Greenhouse Sports. She is also Chair of youth charity TwentyTwenty.
Phil is the Chief Psychologist and Chief Assessor of the Civil Service Fast Stream, focusing on assessment design and diversity initiatives. Prior to this, he was Head of Occupational Psychology at the London Fire Brigade and Acting Head of Occupational Psychology for Greater Manchester Police.
Helena Kennedy QC is one of the United Kingdom's most distinguished lawyers. She has practised at the Bar for 40 years in the field of criminal law and has conducted many of the leading cases in those years, including the Balcombe Street Siege, the Brighton bombing trial, the Guildford Four Appeal, the Michael Bettany Espionage case, the Jihadist Fertiliser Bomb Plot, and the Transatlantic Bomb Plot. She has championed law reform for women, especially relating to sexual and domestic violence and developed the defence of Battered Women's syndrome in the British courts. She was also the leading voice for equal opportunities in the legal profession for women. She authored a number of books on law reform, co-wrote the successful television series Blind Justice and became a well known broadcaster on law and ethics during the eighties, presenting the BBC's Heart of the Matter. She has chaired the British Council and the UK Human Genetics Commission. She has been a member of the House of Lords for 18 years, where she sat on the Joint Committee of Human Rights, and is now chair of the European Union Sub Committee on Law. She is chair of Justice and co-chair of the International Bar Association's Institute of Human Rights. She has received 39 honorary doctorates, is an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She has also been honoured by the Governments of France and Italy.
Development Advisory Board
The upReach Development Advisory Board was established in 2018 to enable individuals to support our mission to boost social mobility in the UK. We are very grateful for the investment that these individuals have made which has enabled upReach to accelerate our growth. Through their support, upReach were able to open a new office in Manchester in September 2018, allowing us to support more students from the North of England. Each board member is invited to help us develop our long term strategy, and commit to making an annual contribution to the Charity for at least two years.
- Anush Newman, Managing Partner, JMAN Group
- Brian Gilvary, CFO, BP plc
- Ed Shuckburgh, Director, Montagu
- Jennifer Chamandi Boghossian, Luxury Footwear Designer and ex-Banker
If you are interested in finding out more about how you can help accelerate upReach’s growth, please contact the Chief Executive directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org