Leeds Beckett student gains funding for Leeds-based charity
Ana Ardelean, a second year BA (Hons) Playwork student, was awarded the grant by The Sir George Martin Trust, an organisation that provides funding to charitable projects in West and North Yorkshire. Ana was granted the money whilst on placement at the charity as part of her course.
Ana said: “Work placements are an essential element of the Playwork course as they provide an opportunity to put into practice the skills you have learnt in the classroom. They also provide an insight into the kind of work you might want to pursue after university.
“I loved my time at Leeds Play Network – I learnt a lot about myself whilst working with the team. It was great to get the chance to promote their facilities and make more communities aware of their services. I was thrilled to be awarded the £1,000. It meant that Leeds Play Network could invest in an extra 10 Street Play kits for disadvantaged communities to use when they deliver street play sessions. The kits include ‘Road Closed’ banners, bunting, hi-visibility vests, skipping ropes and chalk.”
Founded in 1988, Leeds Play Network, of which Professor Fraser Brown, Principal Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Playwork degree at Leeds Beckett is a trustee, promotes, and provides the facilities for the education of young children (below the age of 16) through leisure and recreational pastimes. The charity operates four strands: Street Play (working with Play England), Play Partners, Play Projects and a Play Resource centre.
Cheryl Woods, Play Project Co-ordinator, explained: “For over 25 years Leeds Play Network has been working with Leeds-based communities to promote a culture where children are encouraged to play; from Street Play, where we support local residents to close their streets to create outdoor play space, to Play Partners, our project dedicated to creating short breaks for disabled children.
“We have been a supporter of Leeds Beckett placement students for several years. The relationship we have built with the University has proven highly beneficial for both parties. It has allowed us to explore new work avenues and projects; the students always bring a fresh perspective to the project, whilst the students have received on the job training and support throughout their studies Ana’s contribution was such that we offered her a part-time fundraising role.”
Alexandra Long, Senior Lecturer in Health and Community Studies at Leeds Beckett University, added: “We’re extremely proud of the accomplishments of our students; Ana is just one example of a student who has secured employment as a result of their experiential learning placement. Her success is reflective of the community-based work that our students engage in through their studies. In this instance it is great that the children of Leeds also benefitted as a result of Ana’s work."