Posted on Thursday, 29 September 2016 at 3pm
by Lifelong Learning Centre Staff.
The following is a guest post by Joel Davison, a mature student who has just started his second year studying full-time on our BA Professional Studies programme.
The Lifelong Learning Centre Opportunities Fund greatly helped me develop my skills over the summer. I applied to the fund for support with accommodation, which allowed me to remain in Leeds so that I could continue volunteering at The Vine Child Contact Centre. The Vine provides support for separated families where the non-resident parent is able to come and see their child or children in a safe, calm environment. Over the summer I was able to dedicate more time to The Vine, which gave me an insight into the development of children and the relationships they have with their parents. My career goal is to become a primary school teacher and this voluntary position allowed me to supervise children of primary age, which has been a great introduction to the field.
I am extremely grateful to the LLC for providing me with access to the Opportunities Fund as I have gained and developed many skills; I have been able to learn to communicate with young children whilst also adapting my communication techniques for their parents. I feel that by remaining at The Vine over the summer I have deepened my understanding of children’s relationships with their parents and the risks they may face – this also linked back to the Safeguarding Children module I took last year as part of my degree.
If I had not received this support from the LLC I would have not been able to continue my voluntary placement as I would have had to move back home over the summer. By staying in Leeds I have also been able to dedicate time to preparing for my voluntary placement beginning next month, through the Students into Schools initiative at Leeds. I feel that the Opportunities Fund has helped prepare me for the second year of my degree and allowed me to take part in activities that I would not have been able to otherwise, for which I am very appreciative.