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First cohort of Youth Work students’ bond on residential

The first cohort of the university’s Youth Work & Community Practice degree began their course with a four-night residential where 17 students from the validated BA (Hons) Youth Work and Community Practice course, which launched at our Burnley Campus in September 2021 were taken to The Coldwell Activity Centre, near Nelson for 5 days of activities, team bonding and course learning.

The fully-funded trip began with an orienteering exercise which, according to one student, was “the perfect way to start the residential because teams were mixed up, enabling the students to start getting to know each other better.”

Two days of essential course teaching sandwiched a day at Harwes Farm, for a forest school day where they enjoyed many activities including building fires in the wild, outdoor cooking and personal development activities. Harwes Farm is one of the institutes that will be providing placements to students on this course.

Course leader, Jenny Lamb, talked about the experience: “It was a wonderful experience and you can really see the difference it has made already. Students have got to know each other in a way they wouldn’t if you’d just been in a classroom and they all have a shared experience.

“We wanted our students to experience what it is like to be taken away on a residential because this is the sort of thing they will be doing in their placements on this course, and it really helps them appreciate the positive impact it can have on the people attending.”

There was a visit from Research Fellow, Dr Deborah Crook, who talked about the top-class research being carried out in the School of Social Work, Care And Community at UCLan and offered guidance on the research skills the students will develop over their time on the course.

One student commented: “I was apprehensive at first when told we had to attend a residential, but I am so pleased that I did it! I had a really good time getting to know my own colleagues and the other students better, I enjoyed the time spent with both tutors and getting to know their own individual styles and personalities and I really enjoyed not having to think about work for a week!”

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The evenings were spent watching films such as I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You which tackle important social issues. One student reflected, “the films I watched were relevant to the course and got you thinking about social issues that impact on the lives of the people we work with and the communities in which we live.”

Course lecturer, Dr Chinyere Ajayi, added: “It was a valuable experience and one which I’m sure will give the students the foundation they need to be successful on this course. Students only come onto campus every six weeks for three days of learning as they are on placements most of the time with weekly online seminars, so it was important to have something to help students get to know each other early on in the course.”

Another student added: “The residential was a brilliant way to start the first year at Uni. It broke down barriers, it helped with feelings of anxiety and insecurity and it enabled the students to form bonds that would have been difficult to form otherwise”

If you are interested in finding out more about this course, sign up for one of our upcoming Open Days or contact the course leader, Jenny Lamb, directly.