July 22 2014 Latest news:

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Young volunteers went to Downing Street to scoop a prestigious national award before receiving praise from the Prime Minister himself.

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The 18 to 25-year-olds from Islington charity City Year, who work as role models, mentors and tutors in schools, went to Number 10 to collect the Big Society Award.

City Year’s “corps members” support disadvantaged children by running breakfast clubs, after-school activities and providing additional classroom support, to boost academic performance.

Every corps member is allocated a small group of pupils to mentor and the scheme supported 6,000 disadvantaged children last year.

The initiative has been so successful the charity, based in White Lion Street, has now struck a deal with Credit Suisse which will see the scheme expanded to Birmingham.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Not only does this scheme help thousands of children to achieve their aspirations, it also helps the volunteers taking part to get on in their careers.

“I am delighted to award City Year with a Big Society Award in recognition of their achievements, and pleased too, to see that they will be able to expand their work across the UK through their strategic partnership with Credit Suisse.”

City Year CEO, Sophie Livingstone, said: “We are thrilled that the efforts of our young volunteers have been recognised with this Big Society Award.

“This award gives credit to their inspirational work and supports our belief that young people really can change the world.”

The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010 to recognise the community work of individuals and organisations across the UK.

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