The Social Mobility Network
upReach is a social mobility charity supporting undergraduates from less-advantaged backgrounds to access and sustain top graduate jobs. In 2020, upReach responded rapidly to the challenges of Covid-19, with technology playing a pivotal role when our beneficiaries most needed support. The lockdown measures during the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in many of our beneficiaries facing cancelled work experience and internships, as well as lost opportunities for skill development and networking, We acted quickly to innovate a tech-based solution; launching a new professional networking platform, The Social Mobility Network, enabling students from disadvantaged backgrounds to expand their professional networks. Designed to be “the network for those without a network”, the platform already has 300 volunteer professionals from 17 firms who students from less-advantaged backgrounds can ask for support through the “Ask an Expert” and “Career Chat” features, booking a “Mock Interview”, or arranging long-term mentoring. This platform was a breakthrough for upReach’s potential to scale our impact in future, since the volunteer-led design of the platform enables us to drastically increase the number of less-advantaged students we have capacity to support; the platform will allow us to impact the futures of tens of thousands more disadvantaged students in the years to come.