60 reasons to be cheerful

Need a reason to smile amid the cuts? How about 60? A bold new exhibition which opened last week presents the 60 bright young things making a difference by volunteering in schools across London.

City Year corps member Rodney Williams

City Year corps member Eleanor Cooper

The exhibition, Full of Purpose, was lauched last week and presents portrait shots, as shown above, of members of City Year London, a project that involves 18-25-year-olds mentoring and supporting primary school pupils.

Based on a successful American model of civic duty that began in 1988, you can read more about it in this post written for The Social Issue by corps member guest blogger Alex Scott. Founded in 1988, more than 12,000 corps members have helped millions of children in 20 US cities and in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The shots by documentary photographer Katie Higson are exhibited at City Year London’s offices in north London until Thursday. As well as the images, the exhibiton includes information about the young people’s work and their motivations for giving a year to serve in schools and communities.

As volunteer Alex says: “I joined City Year because I wanted to spend a year doing something more challenging…as my long term goals lie in entering a career in counselling or therapy, a mentoring role was something that excited me. City Year has proved to be both challenging and incredibly fulfilling. Often it is hard to measure the effect you are having on a day-to-day basis, but every time I am able to see progression in one of the children it makes the long hours worthwhile.”

For more information, contact City Year London.