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'First in the family’ university students reach out to young people

The University of Roehampton, alongside the National Children's Bureau and Queen Mary, University of London are co-ordinating a new ‘Life Skills Programme’ supported by J.P. Morgan.

Posted: 30 May 2013

image for news story 'First in the family’ university students reach out to young people

A new ‘Life Skills Programme’ supported by J.P. Morgan and co-ordinated by leading charity the National Children’s Bureau, Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Roehampton, will tap into the enthusiasm of students who are the first in their family to attend university, and bring them together with young people in their neighbouring communities.

The project will enable undergraduates to work with local young people aged 14-17 to develop volunteer-led community projects, building their skills and confidence. Students will benefit by gaining first-hand experience of how to grow and sustain a volunteering project, while the young people will develop essential life skills to help them make positive choices and raise their aspirations.

Sophie Wood, Manager of Participation and Involvement at the National Children’s Bureau said: “Many of the young people involved in this project face difficulties in education and as a result do not aspire to attend further education or training. This innovative project brings these young people in contact with ‘first generation’ students - those who are the first in their families to attend higher education. By working together on collaborative projects in the local community, we hope these young people will be inspired to make positive choices.”

Babs Williams, President of Queen Mary, University of London Students’ Union said: “This is an incredibly exciting project that will provide our students with the opportunity to boost the aspirations of young people, proving further and higher education is an attainable and worthwhile goal, while generating new skills and experiences for themselves. We’re very proud to be a part of the scheme that promises to make a real difference to people’s lives and our community.”

Roehampton’s Jackie Brown, Head of Student Affairs said: “The University of Roehampton is committed to providing opportunities to its students, and the local community, which will help them to reach their full potential. We’re pleased to be a part of this scheme which will offer young people the chance to develop skills which they’ll be able take forward and use as they make their way in the world.”


Sushmita Bhandari a first-year dance student at the University of Roehampton who is participating in the scheme said: “What excited me about this project is that it gives young people a sense of direction and it also reassures them about possibilities and opportunities in the future, which can be very useful. I wish something like this had been available to me when I was considering what I would do after school. I think this is going to help me, and the people that I’ll be working with, develop some really useful skills, which will hopefully give us an advantage in the future.”

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