Operation Reach

Operation Reach

At a glance


  • Education
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - England


Operation Reach provides transformative adventures and ongoing mentoring for socio-economically disadvantaged young people, to build their life skills & help them reach their potential. The young people all live in a community with one of the lowest socio-economic percentiles nationally. The school the students attend has 60% pupil premium; the national average is less than 30%.

Young people from lower socio-economic groups are still consistently under-represented in the most selective universities and in top professions across all sectors. We provide the opportunity to travel overseas (14 – 21 days) to experience a distinct culture and complete a demanding, physical challenge. The focus is building life skills such as resilience and confidence and also broadening the horizons of young people with low cultural capital.

We then provide ongoing support through an 18-month mentoring programme, focussing on advice and guidance for university & work experience opportunities, to ensure tangible benefits customised for each young person. Mentors are employees of our corporate sponsors so build a direct, long-term relationship.  

Operation Reach makes social mobility a reality.


Stage One - Enrolment and preparation:

  • Reacher experience: interviewed by Operation Reach trustees; required to fundraise £300 each towards the cost of their trip; they complete an outward bound day in the UK as part of preparation for the expedition
  • Impact on Reacher: develop understanding about commitment, communication skills and resilience

Stage Two - Expedition to India (or similar):

  • Reacher experience: visit World Heritage sites; undertake a 7 day off-grid trek in the outer Himalayas; volunteer for an educational NGO 
  • Impact on Reacher: build confidence; resilience; and cultural capital

Stage Three - Mentoring Programme:

  • Reacher experience: interact & develop relationship with an industry professional; 
  • Impact on Reacher: ambitious, appropriate university applications submitted; toolbox of practical skills and knowledge obtained to apply in a work context; 

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