Lorna HarrisIt has been another fabulous year for the BA(Hons) Community Development and Youth Work students. Whilst studying the degree, students undertake fieldwork practice in many different settings such as youth provision, community projects, housing support, faith-based organisations, health provision, educational settings and family services. Students gain experience in supporting young people and adults in different communities and organisations, working in both statutory and non-statutory provision in Bolton and the wider Greater Manchester area. Fieldwork placements offer students an opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills, network with professionals and organisations and often students secure employment from their placement agency.

This year we have had great success with employability. A number of students, from all three years of study, have been offered meaningful employment with Bolton Council, Bolton at Home, BACKUP North West, Zac’s Youth Bar, Raise the Youth, Warrington Youth Club, Live Wire – Warrington, Wigan Targeted Youth, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Life Share and Prince’s Trust in Manchester, as well as being offered a position at the University of Bolton in the Students’ Union.

Lecturer Andrea Walker said: “Our Community Development and Youth Work students have become an important regional social value asset, and we are very proud of them.”

Lorna Harris, a first-year student, said: “It has been many years since I last studied, 21 to be precise, and I had many years of self-doubt that I was not smart enough any more for university life. Any fears and doubt soon disappeared after meeting the Community Development and Youth Work program team at the University of Bolton Open Day. From the start, they went out of their way to build a positive relationship that supported my learning needs as a mature student. Studying on the program has been balanced well, combining formal education with many of the benefits of informal education and group work. The smaller class sizes and the dedicated lecturers have supported me to apply the theory and policies of youth and community work into practice, inspiring me to apply for a challenging first-year fieldwork placement.”

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