In March, a group of care experienced young people from across the Swansea area took part in a Harry Potter themed day organised by Reaching Wider.
The young people each received a wax sealed, Hogwarts invitation letter from Professor McGonagall inviting them to attend a series of Harry Potter themed workshops. The young people worked with Reaching Wider Student Leaders and in ‘An Introduction to Hogwarts’, delivered by Dr Heidi Yeandle-King, they were sorted into their Hogwarts houses and used quills to write their own Quidditch match reports.
In ‘Care of Magical Creatures’ they created their own magical creatures, designed habitats and studied dragons with Dr Dan Forman (Bioscience) and his team of undergraduates, who created and delivered the workshops.
Following a Harry Potter themed lunch, everyone descended into the dark depths of the library to join the Archives team in the ’Study of Ancient Runes’. They studied 16th Century seals before making up their own and decoded a 19th Century secret love letter. The Archives ‘Book of Monsters’ also made a surprise appearance!
Before the Hogwarts Express arrived to carry them home, the young people ventured out into Singleton Park to learn how to play Quidditch with Swansea University’s own Quidditch team. A highly competitive game of ‘Kidditch’ (young person friendly!) was played with Bludgers and Quaffles flying across the park in the quest to catch the Golden Snitch!
In other Reaching Wider activities designed for care experienced young people, a group of 10-11 year olds form Neath Port Talbot worked with Reaching Wider and Dr Yamni Nigam in a ‘Love a Maggot’ day and soon they will visit us again to work with Reaching Wider in the Bioscience department, working in the university laboratories in a day of dissection and rock pools.
Currently care experienced people are underrepresented within Higher Education. Multiple changes in where the young person lives and frequent changes of schools are just two of the factors which can make the path into Higher Education extremely difficult. Often care experienced young people will enter university later than those who have not been in care. Reaching Wider is working with Care Experienced young people from across South West Wales to raise their academic aspiration and confidence in order to establish Higher Education as a normal destination for them.
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/lacandcareleavers/
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 email@example.com