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Winning article for the week ending 15th November

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

Reaching Higher: challenging young people to be leaders of their own lives - by Dina Motashaw, Croydon High School

More and more in today’s society, mental health and confidence in young people is a big topic of concern, this is why Reaching Higher, a small, but powerful charity, along with its ethos, is critically important and significant. 

Reaching Higher has always been about serving young people in their local community. It was formed in 2010 in order to combat challenges in the community and works in South Norwood where 28 per cent of children are identified as living in poverty. Within their community, Reaching Higher works with children who are at risk of activities such as gang involvement, exclusion and teenage pregnancy. Many of these children are within the care system and require assistance preparing for adulthood and supporting themselves throughout life as well as navigating away from the cycle of disadvantage. 

It was a pleasure to get to meet and interview Cathryn Jackson, one of the 3 core staff members at Reaching Higher. She spoke to us about Summer Blitz, one of the charity’s main activity programmes. She explained, “Summer Blitz started before the London riots, it was very close to the exact place of the riots but none of Reaching Higher’s young people were involved as they were doing the Summer Blitz programme, if they weren’t, there’s a high chance they would have been involved.”

When asked why it is still important that people donate to the charity, she revealed, “We realise that some children may feel too anxious to come to us for help, so we’d really love to have a drop-in hub, where any young people can come and be helped by Reaching Higher; the drop in hub would be a warm and welcoming place where there will be someone to talk to about any problems, it will encourage more young people to come in as they won’t feel scared or as though they need to book anything.” 

She also mentioned that donations would help to make the charity better known in their area and expand the area in which Reaching Higher work so that more young people in Croydon can be helped. Whilst Cathryn gave a tour of the charity’s small but welcoming and friendly headquarters, I learnt that as well as working for Reaching Higher, she also travels around the country singing and performing Motown music. It proves that you really can help Reaching Higher whilst following your dreams. 

The whole visit was extremely inspiring and lead a team of myself and four friends to work hard to raise £1000 in order to help Reaching Higher and show appreciation for the work they do and will continue to do. The charity was extremely grateful that we chose them to do this for as they struggle to get donations due to being such a small and unknown charity.

The children that Reaching Higher help are the future generation for our local area, if we help them to expand, they can help young people not just in our local area, but in this country, and that’s why Reaching Higher is just as important as any big charity.

Every donation helps. If you would like to donate to this extraordinary charity, please visit

Article written by Dina Motashaw, see link below:

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