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Leaving Care Winter 2010 foster families 4

Summer schools... Get a taster for uni life Terri Sandison tells how summer schools are a step in the right direction

The young people having fun at the Summer Camp in Winchester


his summer 13 young people, aged 14-17, in the care of Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services attended a threeday residential at the University of Winchester. The summer school is part of the University’s extensive outreach programme for children in care and this year was based around creative arts, enabling students to participate in a variety of different activities including creative writing, stomp, drama, and developing their own sessions to teach their peers. The students put together a song and street dance performance with Seven Stars Agency Ltd and also learned the skills of stage combat from a professional stunt coordinator. Alongside all of this, they worked towards their Bronze Arts Award, which is a recognised national qualification.

Aimhigher Hampshire and Isle of Wight provided innovative workshops in careers education, in which participants took part in a Q&A session with student ambassadors and the Aimhigher outreach officer. This helped them to focus on their futures and the benefits of staying on in further and higher education. Lee Culhane, Participation Officer, Hampshire County Council says: “Hampshire County Council wants to encourage its children in care to go on to university, and the University of Winchester wants to provide support to young people in care. We aim to achieve this in a way that’s fun and raises aspiration for the young people themselves. The whole process isn’t

“It’s about raising confidence and self esteem”

just about raising aspirations though, it’s also about raising confidence and self esteem.” Jordan, who participated in the summer school this year, says: “It gives us an opportunity to meet other children in care and talk about our backgrounds and experiences. It’s made me think about coming to university.” Chris Wilkins, a University of Winchester graduate and film maker, recorded footage of the summer school and interviewed participants and staff on the benefits of the scheme. The DVD, featuring ‘I’ve Got My Swagger On’ - a song created by participants during the urban arts and music production workshop - was launched at a Celebration Event in September. Senior staff from Hampshire County Council and the University of Winchester joined the young people and their carers and families to celebrate the achievements of this year’s summer school. The University of Winchester has an excellent support package for Care Leaver undergraduates and currently has 20 students enrolled who have come from backgrounds in care, studying a wide range of degree courses. One student who enrolled this year has attended residentials for children in care since he was 14. He is now not only studying for a degree, but also working parttime both for the University and for Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Services to encourage other young people to follow in his footsteps.

“It’s made me think about going to university”

Thinking about uni? Find out what funding’s available • •

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Visit Section 4 is all about financial support for careleavers going to university. Also, check out our competition on page 29. On top of LA and government support which is set out in the Who Cares... publication, a few universities also have a bursary or scholarship for careleavers. Terri Sandison says: “At Winchester we currently give all new careleaver undergraduates a King Alfred Scholarship of £2,050 in their first year (it comes in two installments and is coupled with advice on budgeting and managing money). Also visit Terri says: “Current fees, grants and loans will remain in place for students entering higher education in 2011. However, for those who start studying in 2012 the whole system will change in line with new Government policy.”

Foster Families Winter 2010 Sample  

A sample of our Winter issue... lots of fab articles to enjoy! Attachment advice, tips on overcoming bedwetting, delicious recipes and much...

Foster Families Winter 2010 Sample  

A sample of our Winter issue... lots of fab articles to enjoy! Attachment advice, tips on overcoming bedwetting, delicious recipes and much...