Students' summer of experience
This summer, many of our students have been using their time off to team up with our staff to gain life-changing experience and skills while helping others as they volunteer all over the world!
A team of students, staffand alumni are currently volunteering at Leeds Festival at Brahman Park. Supporting the acts on stage will be some of the 200 students, staff and alumni we send to volunteer at Hove, Latitude and Leeds Festivals each year as part of our University's partnership with Festival Republic. Our volunteers work on a variety of projects, including stage management of the BBC Introducing Stage, filming, running campsite DJ parties, performing and providing information to festival-goers.
In addition, a handful of students are lucky enough to work as interns with Festival Republic, one of their contractors or with our staff team on-site. These are really hard-to-find placements, enabling our students and alumni to be one step ahead of the competition, as well as providing an excellent work experience opportunity. These placements tie in to a wide range of our courses and some students are able to gain credit for the work they do, as well as making vital contacts and learning more about the festival industry.
Our Leeds festival volunteers will also be there to see Leeds band, Pulled Apart by Horses open the Main Stage; lead guitarist, James Brown, is a graduate of our BA (Hons) Graphic Art & Design, the same course that Kaiser Chiefs' frontman, Ricky Wilson, also graduated from, resulting in a Leeds Met double-bill as the Kaiser Chiefs take to the same stage later that day.
Also in the festival line-up are two films with University connections. Larra Anderson, Academic Leader for The Northern Film School, is the Cinematographer for Hit So Hard, featuring behind the scenes footage of Grunge bands Nirvana and Hole. Also showing at the Festival is acclaimed Northern Film School film, We Are Poets, about a group of young writers and poets, Leeds Young Authors from Chapeltown.
It's also Carnegie Challenge Cup weekend and more volunteers are experiencing the rugby league final at Wembley first-hand.
Meanwhile more teams of students and staff are sharing a unique experience through our international volunteering projects in South Africa, Uganda, Thailand and India.
Volunteers in Bhopal, India are supporting mental health projects, helping victims of domestic abuse and working on children's projects including orphaned and abandoned railway children, and working with victims still suffering the effects of the Union Carbide disaster.
The South Africa team is in Kwa-Zulu Natal working with three organisations, Durban Children's Welfare - a home for young people who have been abandoned or orphaned due to HIV/Aids, Sports Development activities for young people in the townships surrounding Durban and teaching English in a rural Zulu school in the Drakensberg Mountains.
A second team of Romania volunteers are working with Aid for Romanian Children, helping the charity organise summer camps for some of the poorest children in Europe.
Based in the Khao Lak region (Phang Nga Province) our second Thailand volunteer team have been working with the Volunteer Teacher Thailand charity, teaching English at three schools in areas that were affected by the tragic Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, as well as helping out at a local orphanage. Earlier this year, another team led by Principal Lecturer, Mike Bates, also had the opportunity to teach on the same project and see some of the natural beauty of Thailand.
Over the summer, others have enjoyed working on projects based in the Favelas in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, aiming to improve the quality of life of children living in these seriously underprivileged environments.
Finally, who can forget the Olympics! A team of 64 staff and alumni volunteers headed up by our Partnerships Team are taking part in an intern management programme at the 2012 Games. The 13-week internship lasts until September and covers both the Olympics and Paralympics and our volunteers have been joined by their peers from the USA and Australia. Working as Assistant Venue Managers they are incorporating study alongside their roles to gain a professional qualification through the Institute of Leadership and Management. The learning curve is steep, and combines work-based experience with study, but the team from Leeds are more than up for the challenge!