HEPPSY+ Furthers Education

19 Sep 2018

For the second year running, Endeavour collaborated with HEPPSY+ on a summer programme aimed at raising awareness around higher education for disadvantaged young people.

HEPPSY+ (Higher Education Progression Partnership South Yorkshire Plus) works in collaboration with South Yorkshire Universities and Colleges with a focus on increasing the number of young people attending University. It functions as part of a national programme funded by the Office for Students (OfS), concentrating largely on marginalised communities. In marginalised areas, many young adults who have the potential to attend University often do not pursue this path due to sociological environmental factors. This year’s programme with Endeavour focussed on 14 to 17 year olds from the North East of Sheffield, offering a range of activities to provide a holistic understanding into University life and show participants their capacity to succeed within it.

To gain an understanding of different University environments, the group visited Universities in Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester. Whilst away from Sheffield, participants were able to explore parts of these cities, something which they are not often able to do in their day-to-day lives. Other day trips included activities such as mountain biking, mine exploring, and gorge walking. There were even excursions to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to test participants sculpting skills and a day out at the beach in Bridlington.

Teambuilding activities incorporated into day trips played a key role in boosting confidence and interacting abilities. A HEPPSYbus Day, in which a bespoke bus, fitted to provide the capacity for group learning, provided further teambuilding opportunities.

This summer project has been a great success, with many participants pointing to pride of personal progress after overcoming initial apprehensions. One participant explained that she can feel scared when in a room of unfamiliar faces, but that the project “has definitely helped build my confidence with that”, highlighting the importance of this “because I know I’ll be doing it at university”.

Ian Eccles, Project Worker at Endeavour said “I really enjoyed the days I worked on the project. Rebecca (project coordinator) had positive relationships with the young people creating a platform of trust. The main issue seemed to be lack of confidence. The programme which mixed challenging activities, university visits and personal development clearly helped to address this issue.”

The impact the HEPPSY+ project makes real change to people’s lives. Former HEPPSY+ participant and Endeavour learner, Hadi Homsi is studying Applied Science at college and is set to pursue a degree in Biomedical Science.

Louisa Wall, the School’s Programme Manager for HEPPSY+ is positive about the collaboration and said: “The programme has provided opportunities for young people within the Sheffield region to open doors, raise aspiration and build confidence; whilst imparting reliable knowledge about the benefits and different routes available into higher education. Working with Endeavour has enabled us to really challenge young people by partaking in new, exciting activities that really stretches the individuals and takes them out of their comfort zone to build their confidence and illustrate the opportunities available to them”.

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