Stories of our impact

School ties

Josh Mason is a manager in Deloitte’s Financial Advisory business and is based in Reading. Alongside a busy day job, he also manages our relationship with the John Madejski Academy – one of 20 schools that form the Deloitte Access programme, designed to raise aspiration, support achievement and provide opportunities for pupils in low-income communities.

The JMA welcomes children aged 11 to 18 in a low-income area where 25 per cent of pupils are eligible for free school meals. Here’s how Josh is helping local students dream bigger.

Inspiring a better future

“I was inspired to start working with the John Madejski Academy to help give young people the ambition and skills they need to access wider opportunities that they may not know are available. We’ve been working with the school to develop a programme of activities aimed at pupils in the sixth form. Over the past year, 28 volunteers from Deloitte across all grades have supported over 100 pupils through employability workshops, leadership sessions, CV writing lessons, speed networking and mock interviews.

These activities are developing students’ understanding of the opportunities available and the steps they need to take. Forty-three per cent of Year 13 pupils have applied to universities like Bath, Durham, Loughborough, Surrey, Reading, Southampton and Lancaster to study subjects such as business management, maths and history this year – up from 31 per cent last year. Fifty-five per cent have applied for apprenticeships or employment in accounting, finance, business and marketing.

The feedback we receive from pupils ranges from "knowing people can come from an area of deprivation and do well", to inspiring them to consider activities that can be important for a personal statement and look into details about universities and apprenticeships over their summer holidays. A number of them have also completed work experience in our offices and will be joining Deloitte through our graduate and BrightStart schemes.”

An energising experience

“Volunteering also has a significant impact on our own people. Here’s what one of our volunteers had to say about the experience:

"I was energised from sitting with the students and listening to a set of voices that differed so much to those we encounter in our work. The experience refreshed my belief that by embracing and celebrating our diversity – bringing the essence of who we are to our roles, rather than adapting to become what we think we should be – we have a greater hope of succeeding in the future."

The opportunity to work with the school is one of the best things I have been involved in at Deloitte. The success we are having inspires me to work harder and demand more from myself to make a positive impact on our clients and our communities on an ongoing basis.”