Our Story

upReach helps disadvantaged students from across the UK realise their potential by investing in pioneering technology to facilitate, deliver and evaluate highly personalised programmes of support. Through successful partnerships with top employers and universities, we offer students access to a comprehensive range of opportunities and activities to broaden their horizons, understand career pathways and develop the skills, networks and experiences needed for professional success. We also collaborate closely with other charities in our sector to expand the support offered and maximise our joint impact.

OUR IMPACT

of our 2018 graduates were in highly skilled employment or further study 15 months after graduation.

first-year students who are part of our programme have 3.2 times the average employability skill progression.

median salary of our 2018 graduates who secured highly skilled employment, £4,000 higher than the average university graduate.

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.

Socioeconomic 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 addressing this social mobility challenge.

We help young people achieve their career potential by providing an intensive programme of support that addresses socioeconomic 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 with an initial cohort of 39 students, upReach has grown to support over 2,000 students today. Our 2022 Strategic Plan envisages further growth to 2,500 within the next year. Our intensive programmes of career support involve 14 different interventions, such as skills workshops, mock interviews, mentoring and career courses. They have helped students broaden their career horizons, and develop the skills, networks and work experience to secure offers from 74 of the Times Top 100 Employers.

Why is this important?

Social mobility is a big problem in the UK and the top professions continue to be dominated by those who went to private schools. More students than ever from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds attend university but this has not translated to increased income or enrolment in competitive graduate programmes at leading firms. This is the most significant driver of inequality in society.

  • Non-selective state schools educate 89% of the population, yet account for only 30% of those on some graduate schemes - Dr. Louise Ashley
  • Graduates from lower income households earn 10% less than others studying the same course at the same university - IFS
  • 74% of judges, 71% of barristers, 51% of journalists went to private schools, which educates only 7% of the population - Sutton Trust

AWARDS

In May 2020, upReach was announced as the winner of the “Embracing Digital” Charity Governance Award. The full shortlist included 21 UK charities engaged in a diverse range of activities such as health care, support for victims of domestic abuse, and education access for those experiencing disadvantage. upReach was selected because “Our judges were impressed with the way digital has been embraced by the board, and utilised to improve internal practices as well. The use of digital to capture, monitor and evaluate impact was of particular note.” Find out more here

In October 2019, upReach won the Charity of the Year Award at the Charity Times Awards, in the under £1m income category. The Award was in recognition of boosting social mobility, launching the Student Social Mobility Awards, our successful Future Charity Leaders Programme and sector-leading technology.

In July 2019, in recognition of the growing impact that upReach is having, the charity was Highly Commended at the FSI Small Charity Big Impact Awards in our income category.

TEAM

Staff

Trustees

Patron

Advisory Group

John Craven
Chief Executive

John Craven

Chief Executive

John has been actively involved in social mobility since founding the successful Cambridge University Shadowing Scheme in 1999. 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.

Stephanie Lieber
Director of Programmes and Impact

Stephanie Lieber

Director of Programmes and Impact

Stephanie joined upReach after working in the Corporate world as a tax director for 25 years. 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. After joining upReach in the first FCLP cohort in 2016, she now leads the delivery team to ensure we meet our commitments to our Associates and Partners as the Director of Programmes and Impact.

Sara Furness
Chief of Staff

Sara Furness

Chief of Staff

Sara is the Chief of Staff, working on governance, team coordination and internal project management. She joined upReach in 2020 after having worked previously for a mix of charitable and educational organisations. She is passionate about ensuring all students have access to the opportunities they need in life to reach their full potential. Her other interests include travelling, reading and (usually) being disappointed by Crystal Palace Football Club.

Aishah Nahar
Programme Coordinator

Aishah Nahar

Programme Coordinator

Aishah is a recent History graduate with an interest in education, international development, and increasing social mobility for marginalized groups. During her studies she worked in widening participation to help students gain insight into university life, build their confidence, and help them realise their potential. As an upReach alumni she learned firsthand about the incredible opportunities for growth provided by upReach to eligible students. She now hopes to provide the same invaluable support to current Associates. Aishah can be found with her head in a good book, making art, or watching history documentaries.

Abbie Wilson
Programme Coordinator

Abbie Wilson

Programme Coordinator

Abbie graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Education, where she realised her passion for educational equality and social mobility. Whilst working as a Tutor, and being the first in her family to attend university, she realised the barriers preventing social mobility and is excited to be pursuing a career where she can help to break down these barriers. In her spare time, Abbie enjoys travelling around the UK and beyond, eating different cuisines in every location and being by the sea!

Andy Harding
Law Springboard Lead

Andy Harding

Law Springboard Lead

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.

Anna Sawicki Smith
Rise Programme Manager

Anna Sawicki Smith

Rise Programme Manager

During her time at university, Anna worked with school students from less privileged backgrounds to gain the skills needed to attend university. She initially joined upReach as a Programme Coordinator to help students with the next step of gaining access to top graduate jobs. In her free time she enjoys cooking, exploring London by bus and finding bargains in charity shops.

Christian Mussard
Partnerships Manager (Investments & Savings)

Christian Mussard

Partnerships Manager (Investments & Savings)

Christian is our Partnerships Manager focused on the Investment & Savings industry. After leaving sixth form he enrolled on a Banking Higher Apprenticeship programme and completed his dissertation on socio-economic diversity within banking. Seeing the positive impact a holistically focused diverse & inclusive organisation can have on both the company and individuals, he explored this further alongside working within Relationship Management. He hopes to help create a socially mobile culture within financial services. Alongside work, Christian enjoys sports, exercise and socialising with friends normally at a restaurant.

Daniel Davis
Programme Coordinator

Daniel Davis

Programme Coordinator

Dan is a recent Philosophy graduate from the University of Exeter. Having been an Associate, and a mature student, he is aware of how valuable upReach’s work is. He has a passion for social mobility and mental health and is excited to make a positive change in the world. Outside of work, Dan can be found travelling, gaming or hanging out with his two pugs, Alfie and Beau.

David Steel
Employer Partnerships Manager

David Steel

Employer Partnerships Manager

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.

Dominic Paulucci
Programme Coordinator (Technology)

Dominic Paulucci

Programme Coordinator (Technology)

Dominic joined upReach following a career as a communications professional, mainly working with companies in the technology and industrial sectors. Having supported widening participation programmes at university, he knows the positive impact that social mobility initiatives can have on students, and is excited to once again help students from less-advantaged backgrounds to reach their full potential. Outside of work, Dominic occupies most of his time by playing guitar and creating instrumental music.

Dulcie Huwew
Programme Leader

Dulcie Huwew

Programme Leader

Dulcie joined upReach as she wanted to work in an organisation that made a signifiant difference to students’ lives, and aims to make a real change in the Higher Education sector. After applying to University through a scheme called Access to Leeds, and understanding the challenges of adapting to University and the transitions that follow, Dulcie is passionate about ensuring that access to graduate employment is inclusive and accessible, and wants to ensure that all students are given equal opportunities. Her main interests are cooking, travelling, and learning about different cultures.

Eamonn Hoare
Law Programme Coordinator

Eamonn Hoare

Law Programme Coordinator

Eamonn joined upReach as a Programme Coordinator after studying History at the University of Cambridge. Whilst at university, he enjoyed the opportunity to engage in social enterprise projects and, in particular, valued the opportunity to support charities advancing social mobility. He is excited to further upReach’s vision and help young people maximise their potential. In his spare time, Eamonn likes watching basketball, trying new restaurants and catching up with friends.

Elizabeth Twells
Programme Coordinator

Elizabeth Twells

Programme Coordinator

Lizzie graduated from the University of Leeds in 2019 with a BSc in Pharmacology. Being educated at a school within an area of high deprivation led to a passion regarding the reduction of inequality in education and society. Outside of work, Lizzie enjoys travelling, reading, socialising and supporting Leicester City Football Club.

Ella Shaxson
Programme Coordinator

Ella Shaxson

Programme Coordinator

Ella joined upReach as a Programme Coordinator after studying Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. While at university, she volunteered as an access mentor, supporting offer-holders from less advantaged backgrounds during their process of revising for A levels, meeting their offer and preparing for university life. She is excited to continue the vital mission of reducing socioeconomic inequalities while working with upReach. In her spare time, Ella loves cooking, hiking and trips to the beach.

Freya Mumford
Programme Coordinator

Freya Mumford

Programme Coordinator

Freya joined the FCLP after graduating from the University of Liverpool with a BA in Criminology. Originally from Merseyside and working as a Youth Worker before starting university, she is passionate about social change and supporting young people in realising their potential. In her spare time Freya enjoys live music and playing guitar.

Gavin Davis
Head of Finance and Business Operations

Gavin Davis

Head of Finance and Business Operations

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 Judge
Senior Data and Impact Officer

Hannah Judge

Senior Data and Impact Officer

Hannah joined upReach as a Programme Coordinator on the FCLP, after completing an MSc in Educational Research at the University of Bristol. Now, she looks at the ways we can measure and communicate the differences we are making as a charity. Away from the office, Hannah enjoys bouldering, travel and working her way around all of London’s coffee shops and markets!

Hannah Mitchell
Programme Coordinator

Hannah Mitchell

Programme Coordinator

Hannah graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2019 with a BA in English with History, as the first member of her family to attend university. Formerly a college Employability Coach and an ongoing social mobility charity volunteer, Hannah is excited to extend her support to undergraduates in accessing competitive professional opportunities and to champion Associates’ professional and personal development. In her spare time, you’ll find Hannah enjoying baking and the outdoors, singing loudly in the shower and relaxing with her family pet tortoise, Toby, in the garden.

Hannah Stoddart
Head of Sector Programmes and Mentoring

Hannah Stoddart

Head of Sector Programmes and Mentoring

Hannah is upReach's Head of Sector Programmes and Mentoring. 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.

Isobel Plant
Professional Experience Programmes & Partnerships Manager

Isobel Plant

Professional Experience Programmes & Partnerships Manager

After teaching English in secondary schools in Sheffield and Liverpool, Izzy's worked for the past six years in social mobility and education charities. She's passionate about tackling social inequality and is excited to work with employers to develop partnerships that provide invaluable opportunities for young people. Outside of work, you'll find her curled up with a cup of tea and a good book or swimming in the open water.

Jack Nguyen
Junior Product Manager

Jack Nguyen

Junior Product Manager

Having worked for numerous tech start-ups in London, Jack joined upReach as a Junior Product Manager. He was drawn to upReach’s mission of helping students from less-privileged backgrounds to succeed and reach their full potential. Jack's favourite things are cooking, travelling and Liverpool Football Club.

Jacque Dieu
Data and Technology Manager

Jacque Dieu

Data and Technology Manager

Jacque is our Data and Technology Manager. He is passionate about social mobility and has previously worked on increasing access to higher education in Devon. In his free time, Jacque enjoys playing the guitar and ukulele and likes to play instrumental music and the occasional jazz standard. Jacque likes hikes in the countryside and listening to live music.

Jamie Pitts
Senior Project Manager

Jamie Pitts

Senior Project Manager

Jamie is our Senior Project Manager. He joins upReach after spending three years at Cancer Research UK, most recently as an Executive Project Manager. Whilst at university, he interned with a number of charities, centred around working with young people. He enjoys American Football and anything food-related.

Joshua Fine
Programme Coordinator

Joshua Fine

Programme Coordinator

Joshua joined the FCLP after graduating from The University of Oxford with a BA is Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. Joshua is passionate about social mobility, having been involved with the First Generation Society at university and later interning with a charity whose focus was on social mobility in South Africa. Joshua is a born and bred Mancunian, and can regularly be found moaning about Manchester United.

Josie Clough
Administration Assistant

Josie Clough

Administration Assistant

Josie is joining upReach as an administration assistant for the Assessed Virtual Internship Programme (AVIP) after recently graduating in International Development from the University of Leeds. Throughout university she was an active volunteer/campaigner for Student Action for Refugees, advocating for improving the welfare of refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds. She is passionate about creating equal opportunities for everyone and leaving no one behind. Outside of work, you can find Josie getting stuck into one of her latest crochet projects.

Kudzai Zimowa
Programme Coordinator

Kudzai Zimowa

Programme Coordinator

Having been an upReach associate at the University of Liverpool, Kudzai was very keen to join upReach because of his passion for reducing social and educational inequality. While studying Law he worked alongside the widening participation team at the university of Liverpool helping tackle barriers to entry into higher education. Outside of work, Kudzai enjoys playing football, reading and loves collecting retro trainers and streetwear.

Laura Bland
Programme Coordinator

Laura Bland

Programme Coordinator

After graduating with a degree in Psychology from the University of Bath, Laura joined upReach as a Programme Coordinator. She believes passionately that everyone should have access to the careers they want. She is excited to be able to help students from less-advantaged backgrounds overcome graduate employment barriers and achieve their full potential. Outside of work, Laura enjoys spending time with her two dogs, watching stand-up comedy and live music.

Laura Simpson
Programme Manager

Laura Simpson

Programme Manager

Laura is the Programme Manager for our postcode programmes, including our Building Success Programme, Southwark Internship Programme and our John Lyon's Charity Programme. She joined upReach in 2021 after having worked for another social mobility charity. Laura is dedicated to tackling socio-economic inequality and supporting underrepresented students achieve their chosen graduate role. In her spare time she likes running, kickboxing and being outside, preferably near the beach!

Liberty O'Hagan
University Partnership Lead

Liberty O'Hagan

University Partnership Lead

Liberty first heard about upReach through her shortlisted nomination at the 2018 Student Social Mobility Awards for her voluntary work at university. She is very excited to join upReach to be part of a team that is enthusiastic to help improve social mobility and support a wide inspiring cohort of students. In her spare time Liberty likes reading about world politics, being near the sea and travelling!

Lee Robertson
Springboard Manager

Lee Robertson

Springboard Manager

Lee is responsible for running three of upReach’s “Career Springboard” programmes. He oversees the support we offer to students pursuing a career in Law, Technology and Investment Management. Lee joined upReach because he is passionate about helping students access jobs they previously wouldn’t have imagined, and giving them the extra boost they need to reach their potential.

Lidia Barbuti
Senior Brand, Marketing & Communications Officer

Lidia Barbuti

Senior Brand, Marketing & Communications Officer

Lidia is our Senior Brand, Marketing and Communications Officer and is responsible for maintaining brand consistency and supporting upReach’s external communications. As the first in her family to attend university, she was drawn to upReach’s mission to help less-advantaged students succeed in the graduate market. She brings with her an agency background in content production, creative development and brand management. When she isn’t working, you can find Lidia learning to argentine tango or snuggling up with her two dogs.

Mabel Canham
Programme Manager (Technology)

Mabel Canham

Programme Manager (Technology)

Mabel joined upReach as she is passionate about dismantling systemic oppression and inequality. In her spare time, Mabel enjoys true crime documentaries and is a regular attendee at her weekly pub quiz. She can often be found sporting out-there nail designs and adores all things animal print.

Melissa Pittman
Programme Coordinator

Melissa Pittman

Programme Coordinator

Keen to build upon her experience and help students reach their full potential, Melissa joined the FCLP at upReach. Whilst studying for her undergraduate degree in Social Policy at the London School of Economics, she learned about issues of privilege affecting mobility in education and work. Using this knowledge, she interned with charities helping disadvantaged children and adults access educational opportunities. Beyond the office, Melissa spends her time seeing friends, obsessing about politics and attempting to cook (but mainly ordering) vegan food.

Micayla Colman
Law Programme Coordinator

Micayla Colman

Law Programme Coordinator

Micayla is a Law Programme Coordinator. She graduated from both the University of Cambridge with a degree in Law and the University of Cape Town with a degree in Environmental Science and Biology. She is passionate about social mobility and looks forward to working with students from socially mobile backgrounds to ensure that they land the job of their dreams! Outside of work, Micayla loves everything about cocker spaniels, reading and travelling.

Minna Gabbertas
Partnerships Manager (Technology)

Minna Gabbertas

Partnerships Manager (Technology)

Minna joined upReach as a Technology Partnerships Manager having previously worked in partnerships for a small media company. As a result of her volunteering with less-advantaged individuals, Minna is dedicated to creating real equality of opportunity and a network of support and possibility for students regardless of their background. Away from her desk, you can find her in a hot yoga class, running or eating dim sum on the weekends.

Niamh Mac Namee
Sector Programme Manager (Government, Public Sector and Charity)

Niamh Mac Namee

Sector Programme Manager (Government, Public Sector and Charity)

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.

Olivia Reeve
Fundraising & External Affairs Manager

Olivia Reeve

Fundraising & External Affairs Manager

Olivia is our Fundraising and External Affairs Manager. 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.

Rebecca O'Leary
Programme Coordinator

Rebecca O'Leary

Programme Coordinator

Becca is a Programme Coordinator at upReach. Having graduated in 2018 with a BSc Psychology degree from the University of Bath, she has since worked within Student Recruitment. She is very passionate about addressing social mobility and helping young people achieve their full potential. Outside of work, Becca enjoys baking, travelling and a good pub quiz!

Rebecca Ige
Programme Officer

Rebecca Ige

Programme Officer

Rebecca recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Geography. She is passionate about tackling inequalities in the education system and has worked at a number of university outreach events as a Student Ambassador, contributing to Cambridge’s commitment to widening participation. Across her education, she received a lot of support from social mobility charities and is now excited to contribute to upReach’s mission of helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their full career potential. Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys reading, baking and travelling!

Rochelle Kenyon
Administration Assistant (HR & Finance)

Rochelle Kenyon

Administration Assistant (HR & Finance)

Rochelle is a Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy graduate, passionate about empowering others to realise their full potential. Growing up and being educated in a deprived area led to an interest in social equity and dismantling systemic oppression. upReach’s commitment to breaking down barriers for those from less-advantaged backgrounds attracted Rochelle to the role. When not in the office, Rochelle can be found discussing Black British History with her book club, collecting antiques and rare books, or exploring as many countries as possible!

Rosa Pennington
Junior Product Manager

Rosa Pennington

Junior Product Manager

After graduating from the University of Nottingham, Rosa worked in both the private and public sector before joining upReach as a Junior Product Manager. She is really interested in Social Mobility and helping young people to reach their full potential. Rosa enjoys good food, making her own clothes and stand-up comedy.

Safia Nasli
Programme Coordinator

Safia Nasli

Programme Coordinator

Safia graduated from her degree in Politics at the University of Leeds in 2020. During this time, she helped students from less advantaged backgrounds to access higher education and also worked as a Youth worker. Safia is passionate about social mobility, having participated in social mobility programmes as a student herself. Safia enjoys politics, reading and watching Netflix.

Salma Al-Hassan
Programme Coordinator

Salma Al-Hassan

Programme Coordinator

Salma joined the FCLP because of her passion for combating inequality in education through helping young people achieve their full potential. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Manchester where she studied History and Sociology. Salma has enjoyed working in a number of volunteer mentoring roles, she was drawn to the FCLP because of its focus on mentorship. In her free time, you can find Salma painting, listening to history podcasts, and attempting to master ceramics (emphasis on attempt).

Sam Fraine
Senior Fundraising & Events Officer

Sam Fraine

Senior Fundraising & Events Officer

Sam joined upReach in December 2020. He brings with him a wealth of experience in fundraising, project and event management in London, Lyon and Berlin, and the determination to help drive positive social change for less-advantaged undergraduates across the UK. Talk to him about good music, good food and good literature and he'll be happy.

Sam Gill
Senior HR Officer

Sam Gill

Senior HR Officer

Sam recently completed an MSc in Human Resource Management at the University of Salford and has worked in diversity and inclusion in Higher Education before joining upReach. Sam has also worked with local charities and social enterprises, and is passionate about helping people to reach their full potential.

Sarah Gregory
Delivery Project Manager

Sarah Gregory

Delivery Project Manager

Sarah is the Delivery Project Manager at upReach. Originally from Liverpool, she graduated from Royal Holloway with BA Modern History and Politics. She then went on to study Economic History MSc at the London School of Economics and is passionate about the reduction of inequality in society. In her free time she enjoys cooking and spending time with her dog, Charlie.

Sophie Savage
Programme Coordinator

Sophie Savage

Programme Coordinator

Sophie joined the FCLP after studying PPE at the University of Leeds. She joined upReach because she is passionate about combating social and economic inequality. Outside of work, Sophie can be found painting or in the park reading, weather permitting.

Tabitha Carrington
Programme Leader

Tabitha Carrington

Programme Leader

Tabitha is our Programme Leader for Exploring and Coaching, and organiser of the 2019 Student Social Mobility Awards. After working as a Sutton Scholars Mentor and President of Sexpression Warwick while at university, she was keen to further develop her knowledge of the charity sector. upReach’s ambitious Theory of Change and ever-growing impact on social mobility issues further drew her to the role. Tabitha enjoys collecting houseplants, listening to all sorts of podcasts and eating vegan treats!

Yolanda Kisenyi
Programme Leader

Yolanda Kisenyi

Programme Leader

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.