07 June 2019

At Burges Salmon we are committed to widening access to the legal profession and helping with career aspirations, whether young people aspire to a career in law or not. We understand that education is a fundamental driver in enabling social mobility and that we have a real opportunity to help make a difference with skills-based volunteering. We are proud to partner with IntoUniversity. This charity works to help disadvantaged young people gain a place within a higher education establishment. It specifically provides encouragement, insights and skills to children and young people aged 7-18 in pursuing further education.

Tom Gillett, Solicitor shares some insights, having volunteered as part of the IntoUniversity Corporate one-to-one Mentoring scheme. Through the scheme Tom met with a student from the local St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School over the past two years, during the student’s transition from school to University and working life. During key periods such as in the run up to his university UCAS application they met every couple of weeks. More recently, they tend to meet every couple of months for a general catch-up.

Reflecting on the experience Tom said, 'The purpose of the IntoUniversity programme is to provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds with the help that many children receive as a matter of course. This includes practical help with things like UCAS and job applications, but also involves providing support and advice in relation to the general challenges and set-backs of teenage/young adult life.

When I look at my own peers from school, it is very evident to me that, while personal drive, ambition and ability are all important factors in individual success, there is a marked difference in the level of educational and professional success between those who were lucky enough to have supportive, university-educated parents and those who did not. Supporting the great work of IntoUniversity in helping to address that issue has been very rewarding."

During our meetings I’ve really enjoy just chatting about life and seeing the world from a teenager’s perspective. My mentee is a real character and we get on well so the meetings are a pleasure.'

Burges Salmon is committed to the IntoUniversity partnership and our focus on social mobility.

Tom Gillett

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