The third Student Social Mobility Awards will be held at the House of Lords on Thursday 9th September 2021.


The Student Social Mobility Awards are organised by upReach to showcase the incredible achievements of undergraduates from lower socio-economic backgrounds from across the UK. The awards are to recognise students who have excelled in their studies and beyond, and shown great potential to excel as they launch their careers. Our focus is on students who have demonstrated great resilience, determination or initiative, or boosted their employability in innovative ways. We aim to showcase up-and-coming talent and identify those rising stars to watch in the years to come.

Having overcome significant socioeconomic barriers and mitigating circumstances, these winners and nominees serve as inspiring role models for those from similar backgrounds, encouraging them to set their ambitions high and realise their full potential.

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Victoria Ayodeji

Winner of the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award

Philippa Ancla Uden

Winner of Creative Industries Award 2019

Oluwaseye Ibare-Akinsan

Winner of Best Mentor 2019

University of Bristol Sanctuary Scholarships

Winner of Best University Initiative 2019


The Student Social Mobility Awards are organised by upReach to showcase outstanding achievement and provide role models to those from lower socio-economic groups.

upReach’s vision is of a society in which everybody has an equal opportunity to realise their full career potential, regardless of social background. We work to create the conditions for undergraduates from less-advantaged backgrounds to access and sustain top graduate jobs.

Our main activity is delivering an intensive programme of career support, working in close partnership with leading employers and universities. This year, upReach programmes will provide tailored support to over 2,000 students from across the UK, helping them to broaden their horizons, understand career pathways and develop the skills, networks and experiences needed for career success.

In October 2019, upReach won the Charity of the Year Award at the 2019 Charity Times Awards, in the under £1m income category. The Award was in recognition of a tremendous year that included growing the impact we are having boosting social mobility, launching the Student Social Mobility Awards, our successful Future Charity Leaders Programme, and sector-leading technology.

More about upReach

median salary of our 2018 graduates who secured highly skilled employment, £4,000 higher than the average university graduate.

of the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers have made offers to upReach Associates.

of our Associates are from BAME backgrounds. Over half are female.

of our 2018 graduates were in highly skilled employment or further study 15 months after graduation.

upReach Associates are typically five times more likely to be successful when applying to one of our partner employers than the average applicant.

Professional mentoring relationships in 2020 between Associates and employees at our partners.

It was an honour to have my achievements recognised and the award ceremony gave me a new found confidence in my abilities and what I can achieve in the future. Winning the award was a catalyst to set my ambitions high

- Victoria Ayodeji, Winner of the 2019/20 Outstanding Achievement Award


upReach are delighted that the inaugural Student Social Mobility Awards were supported by the Social Mobility Commission (SMC).

The SMC monitors progress towards improving social mobility in the UK, and promotes social mobility in England. For example, it publishes an annual report setting out its views on the progress made towards improving social mobility in the United Kingdom, and it challenges employers, the professions, universities and schools to play their part in promoting social mobility.

“Social mobility means that your background does not determine your future. These awards recognise that some young people have to overcome more barriers than others to succeed, and that this success is all the more impressive. The role of mentors and initiatives that support people is crucial – and we hope these expand so that everyone has the chance to realise their potential. We hope these individuals go on to transform the places they work, mentor young people in future, and open up opportunities to others so that everyone has the chance to realise their potential.” - Rachael Millar, Head of the Social Mobility Commission Secretariat


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