Polydemia, from Peers to Peers
Founded by five sixth form students in 2019, Polydemia is a student-initiated charity aimed at providing quality revision guidance for underprivileged students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are six departments which work together to ensure the day-to-day operation within the charity, specifically Service, the Video Creators, Academics, Promotion, IT and Fundraising. Offering such a wide scope of positions, our volunteers have a range of opportunities to contribute and showcase their different talents.
“When I was a tutor, I helped four GCSE students – two in biology and two in chemistry. I had one-to-one lessons with my students once every week.” – Beatrice, quoted from our newly-released promotion video detailing the behind-the-scenes of Polydemia.
We offer volunteering opportunities to A-level students who achieved top GCSE grades and want to encourage academic excellence by helping others in their learning. Polydemia has a rigorous training process and quality assurance policy that ensures that all our tutors are not only knowledgeable but also engaging and passionate teachers. All tutors undergo regular evaluations to ensure that their teaching skills are up to standards. Feedback is provided regularly to them in order to promote continuous improvement and provide the best revision help we can.
At the start of this academic year, around 100 of our volunteers participated in our first Orientation Camp, where we organised lots of team building activities and ice-breaking challenges such as Mafia and Black Magic. During the induction, we introduced the roles and responsibilities of each department. This helped volunteers decide on which positions to take on depending on their passions and strengths. Having spent an enjoyable day together, existing and new volunteers had chances to bond with each other to establish good communication in professional but friendly and supportive working relationships. The Board of Directors oversaw the event by sorting out logistics (e.g., organising the schedule, recruiting volunteers) and testing the feasibility of each game prior to the Ocamp.
To raise funds to cover the charity’s operational costs, the Fundraising Department organises charity bake sales at the College. This year, we successfully ran the tiramisu sale, the Valentine’s Day cupcake sale and the maid café themed pancake and waffle sale.
In our previous fundraising, we received positive responses from our audience and raised over £100 of revenue. Apart from raising money and extending our influence, our fundraising team better recognised the importance of event planning and teamwork.
Polydemia expanded from a small organisation to over a hundred volunteers in two years. Having provided over seven hundred tutoring hours and the production of more than a hundred revision videos, all available on our YouTube and Instagram, we are proud to see the difference we have made to the community.
Throughout the years, Polydemia has made many adaptations to improve the quality of our services as the number of volunteers and students has grown. A distinct leadership structure with divided departmental roles maximises productivity and efficiency, with each of our six departments being led by a member of the Board of Directors and all supervised by the Chair. Weekly meetings are held in each department to discuss new developments, implement new ideas and respond to feedback. The service management team has expanded greatly in response to the surge in volunteering applications and continues to perform robust quality checks in lessons to secure the confidence of our students in the educational services we provide. The video creators’ sector has made plans to diversify the style of revision videos we design by producing longer videos that walk viewers through exam-style questions, a style optimal for explaining complex concepts in greater depth.
As a popular charity among students in OIC, Polydemia provides volunteers with valuable experience to develop and reinforce a plethora of skills such as leadership, time management and communication. These skills will help our volunteers in their future endeavours at university and beyond and are an invaluable opportunity to start doing charity work early. By supplementing A-level courses with this valuable commitment, our volunteers’ student lives are enriched with a strong extra-curricular element, allowing them to become more well-rounded individuals. If you are interested in volunteering with us, we would be delighted to invite you to apply next year!
✍ Article by Gabriella, Stephanie and Michelle, Polydemia’s Committee Members
📄 Edited by Terence, Polydemia’s Committee Member