In July, 15 young people who are care experienced joined Reaching Wider for a 2 day residential programme. The young people came to us from across Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot and were studying in Years 8 to 11.
The young people had the opportunity to take part in a ‘Casualty’ themed experience kicking off with a workshop on make-up techniques used by media make-up artists in films and TV shows. The young people took part in a workshop delivered by FE professionals who showed the young people how to use make up to create black eyes, cuts and bruises. They were also shown and were able to try out and wear prosthetic masks created for use in films and TV shows such as Dr Who.
The workshop was great fun and it was clear to see their confidence grow as they became proficient in using the makeup materials to produce remarkably life-like injuries. The session also helped to demonstrate the broad range of courses available to study both at FE and HE level.
Rob Ellis from the money@campus life team delivered a ‘Game of Life – Life as an Undergraduate’ themed budgeting event to the young people. The young people had to make their own student life decisions such as choosing and funding their student accommodation, paying bills, celebrating birthdays and special events and collecting their Care Leaver bursaries provided by the university. The young people worked together in groups to make the decisions that every student has to make when they come to university. The event helped to highlight to them the financial support available to them if they did decide to study at university.
During the evening, the young people enjoyed a trampolining session at ‘Limitless’ before journeying to Frankie and Benny’s for their dinner. To finish off an action packed day, the young people watched Despicable Me 3 at Vue Cinema in Swansea.
After a good night’s sleep in Swansea University’s Penmaen Halls of Residence, the young people took part in a ‘Creative Casualties’ screen-play writing workshop. Dr Heidi Yeandle-King worked with the young people to write their own ‘Casualty’ style screenplay, building upon the knowledge they had gained from the makeup session the day before.
The final workshops were delivered by Graduate Entry Medicine Students at the Singleton Teaching Unit, Swansea University Medical School. The young people learnt about wound management and recognition of the sick patient using the ABC approach. These were very hands-on workshops where the young people became experienced at dressing a variety of fake wounds and in the use of stethoscopes and practicing CPR on dummies. There were also opportunities for the young people to talk to the medical students about their own paths into Higher Education and ultimately onto a graduate medicine course.
At the end of the two days, every single young person said that they knew more about FE and HE as a result of the experience and that they each felt more confident that they could go to university if they wanted to.
A young person’s guide to FE and HE for Care Experienced young people has been produced by Reaching Wider and can be found via the Reaching Wider website: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/reaching-wider/careexperienced/
Reaching Wider offers casual work opportunities for university students who wish to gain experience of working with young people. Our opportunities can fit around your timetable, boost your CV, count towards your HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report) award and also offer generous rates of pay. If you are interested in working for us we would love to hear from you. Contact us at www.swansea.ac.uk/reaching-wider/ and firstname.lastname@example.org