Van Mildert “Widens Pupils' Horizons”
(2 June 2006)
Van Mildert Young Person’s Project (YPP) has been praised for its programme working with young people in the North East. The scheme, which encourages pupils from underprivileged schools to go on to higher education, was featured in a recent issue of the Sunderland Echo.
Fifty year ten pupils from Pennywell School in Sunderland and St Hild's School in Hartlepool spent five days at Van Mildert College over the Easter holiday. Taking part in activities organised by student volunteers, they had the opportunity to learn new skills as well as enjoy themselves. The scheme not only built their confidence but also encouraged them to think about going into higher education. They told the Sunderland Echo that they were considering careers including law, nursing, and computer programming as a result of their participation in the scheme. View the article of from the Sunderland Echo. YPP has grown since it was founded in 2001 by former Van Mildert Principal George Patterson and wife Pat (headteacher of Pennywell School). The scheme is run by student volunteers who visit pupils every week throughout the year before the residential during the University’s Easter vacation. Whilst staying at Van Mildert, the pupils have the opportunity to get involved in a whole range of activities. As well as trips to “Wet ‘n’ Wild” and bowling, there are business-planning games, sports and teambuilding exercises keep pupils busy. At the end of the week, parents can come and see an assembly showcasing the new skills their children have learnt. YPP is funded by donations from Van Mildert College’s student body, SCR and alumni as well as fundraising carried out by student members of the YPP team. In addition to activities like the sponsored “monopoly run” every year, the generosity of Mildert alumni and the SCR helps support the project, which receives no funding from the University itself. “It is a really positive thing,” says YPP Director Hattie Rowley. “Not only does it build the pupils’ confidence, but it’s an opportunity for them to find out more about university life. If as a result more young people from the North East are thinking about going on to higher education, then that makes the whole thing worthwhile.” For more information about Van Mildert Young Person's Project contact Director Hattie Rowley at: firstname.lastname@example.org.