Colin HM
If you have ever wondered if volunteering can make a difference, then you need to understand the maths behind giving back… says Colin Hegarty.

This time last year I was launching my online maths tutorial business…from the spare bedroom at the top of my house.

One year on and Hegarty Maths is now being used in over 10 per cent of secondary schools and by 5,700 teachers to plan classes, assess pupils and set and track homework.

More than one million hours of learning have already been completed and an astounding 60 million questions have been answered.

Going forward the figures are even more ambitious and we are on track to be in 1,000 schools helping one million children.

Impressed? Well, I haven’t done it on my own.

A year ago, Deloitte noticed I was making headlines and got in touch to see if they could support my work. The timing was perfect. As a Deloitte alumni I just happened to be approaching them at the same time for exactly the same reason.

Not only did I benefit from a one-day workshop with half a dozen Partners and Directors from Consulting (I could not believe how much expertise gathered to help me) – but after we decided that the digital side of my business needed developing, a team of five top Deloitte tech people volunteered to help with the web site moving us to Amazon Web Services so we can cope with higher demand.

These five volunteers – who are highly skilled, knowledgeable and so committed to our cause - have already helped us to scale up and gain another 200,000 users – young people who are being helped to achieve better results which, in turn, could mean a better future.

So, if you are have ever wondered if giving back makes a difference, yes it does.

A lot of us have skills – whether that is the ability to pitch, communicate or, like me, to teach maths- and just a small amount of time from your day or week to share these skills, can make a big difference to someone’s life.

It has a multiplier effect: one hour can give a lifetime of inspiration.

On top of that, giving back gives you a great feeling and that was the main reason why I became a maths teacher.

Maths is a life-differentiating qualification. It teaches you that if you make an error, you cannot quit but instead you need to work out how to get the answer right next time. If you are going to be a success in life, you have to learn to make mistakes.

Talking about one person making a difference, it was a pupil who inspired me.

His father was terminally ill and he had to leave the UK for two and a half months….right in the middle of his A Levels. He asked me how he could keep up with the course.

So, I offered to video my lessons. As I put them up for free on YouTube other young people started to watch them to improve their maths. At the last count the 1,500 mathematics videos I have made have been viewed more than 12 million times.

Hegarty Maths has an even bigger multiplier effect. By helping one teacher – so they can spot whether a child is giving up on their homework after five minutes, getting stuck on a particular question or doing their homework at midnight when they should be getting a night’s sleep – we can help whole classes. Then whole schools. And then a whole generation.

You don’t have to be a maths genius to see how the multiplier effect works.


Colin Hegarty

Colin Hegarty

Maths teacher and Deloitte alumni Colin Hegarty, who won National Teacher of the Year award in 2015, is on course to change a million young people’s lives through his inspirational maths tutorials.

Colin knows how transformational education can be – he grew up in a one-bedroom London council flat to Irish immigrant parents, one a builder and a cleaner, and was not only the first person from his family to attend university, he went to Oxford where he gained a first-class degree in Mathematics.

He joined Deloitte as a graduate and through a volunteer Reading Partners scheme discovered a passion for teaching.


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