On the 14th June, The Tutor Trust hosted its sixth annual summer reception at Manchester Town Hall, hosted by Sir Richard Leese and sponsored by PwC and Pannone Corporate.

The evening was a huge success with teachers, tutors, local councillors and individuals from our partner organisations such as the University of Manchester, Frontline, ReachOut, City Year and many more, all gathered in the banqueting room to hear from our guest speakers including Nicola Brentnall MVO.  We were also very grateful to have our partner funders SHINE, and to the Lord Mayors of Manchester, Bury, and Tameside for being there.  The room was buzzing as tutors, trustees and teachers alike chatted over canapes and drinks, with the musical accompaniment provided by our own tutor and celloist, Isabel Williamson.


With a packed room, Co-Founder Abigail Shapiro took to the stage to welcome our guests to the evening, saying: “this really has been a completely pivotal year for The Tutor Trust […] we have a lot to celebrate, and it’s great to be able to do that here again with you all this evening”.

It’s certainly true that we have a lot to celebrate! In the past 12 months, The Tutor Trust has won three awards – including ‘Best New Charity’ at the Charity Times Awards – and delivered 17,000 hours of tuition at 130 schools, which is more than we’ve ever done in a single year.  We have also completed our evaluation of Year 6 Maths work, and raised over 1 million pounds in new funding pledges, to ensure that we continue being able to provide schools with our services, despite school budget cuts.

With the crowd warmed up, Abigail invited to the stage our first guest speaker, and host for the evening, Sir Richard Leese. Sir Richard spoke highly of The Tutor Trust, saying: “The Tutor Trust is unique as a charity in the UK; there’s nobody else who offers what they do.  I’ve been pleased to support The Tutor Trust since its inception, we look forward to it growing it’s work across the North of England, and to more of our young people benefitting from this work, and you’ll be welcome in this Town Hall so long as you continue to provide that valuable service.”


Abigail then introduced Nicola Brentnall: guest speaker, Director of The Queen’s Trust and one of our first patrons. Nicola has always supported and followed our work, and has a wealth of experience working with charities that help young people, so the whole Tutor Trust team was incredibly touched by her kind words.  Nicola said that she was delighted to be part of what she called “The Tutor Trust family” and said:

“I had the help of a tutor to get me through school when I was young […] and through having the benefit of a tutor I was able to move on and up.  I had that privilege, but so many of our children don’t have that chance, and that is why it is so important that the Tutor Trust is growing, because the issue is so important. […] When I mention The Tutor Trust, the energy in the room changes, because these are extraordinary people -the great thing about The Tutor Trust is that they’re not interested in good work, they’re interested in great work, and this is what The Tutor Trust represents.  Individuals can make a difference. Nick and Abigail stood up and brought to life the only organisation in the country that does this extraordinary work, and this is the message: that we can make a difference, that we can stand together and together we can level the playing field, and tackle social mobility.”

As Nicola stepped down from her rousing speech, Co-Founder Nick Bent thanked Nicola, for “showing emphatically why we were so keen to have you on board as a patron, and for emphasizing how keen we are to ensure that every hour of tuition is the best is possibly can be.”

Nick then hosted a Q&A session with two tutors, Heather Gore and Francis Emmott.  Upon asking how The Tutor Trust has prepared them for the future, Francis Emmott said that “this job has widened my skill set, and has given me a lot of valuable ideas for the future.”  When asked about their tutoring highlight, Heather Gore spoke of a pupil of hers who, “Hated improper fractions, but by the end of one of our sessions on them, she went from hating the topic, to wanting to tutor the class because she understood it, which was really nice to see.”


Iwan Griffiths, from PwC gave the next speech.  He said, “We are delighted to sponsor this event - it is important to celebrate all the work Tutor Trust do, and to praise the hard work that Nick and Abigail, and in particular the tutors, all do.”  Nick closed the evening with these final remarks, “We are all so pleased to be in such a strong state in our fifth year, and we are extremely excited for the future.”

We would like to thank everyone who came to support us, be it the teachers who took time out of their long days to come along, our trustees and trainers who came to meet with our partners, or our amazing guest speakers who praised us so kindly – here’s to the next five years!