In July 2023, Hello Future organised and ran a residential at the university of Cumbria for Year 10 learners from Barrow-in-Furness and West Cumbria. While it was a lot of planning, the trip was a huge success with students gaining a greater understanding of what university life is like.

The students, along with Hello Future staff, set off on Thursday morning arriving for lunch and a quick look around the accommodation before their first session on the criminal justice system. While it was just an introduction to studying criminology, it gave the students a feel for what university level learning can be- I certainly learnt a lot! The session was longer than the students were used to, but they remained engaged and interested throughout.

The students were then taken for a campus tour by two very informative UoC student ambassadors. It was great to see all the resources the campus had to offer, particularly the healthcare facilities with a very realistic hospital room set up. After some free time, everyone came together for a dinner of pizza and some card games. Perhaps not so sensibly, this was followed by sports in the UoC gym. Students (and staff) got very competitive in dodgeball and learnt a new sport with Pickleball- a racquet sport which combines elements of tennis and badminton.

Finally, there was a fun team quiz held in one of the lecture theatres. Students had their knowledge tested on geography, music, sport etc. before prizes were handed out and everyone headed back to their rooms.

Students were up early on Friday and making themselves breakfast in their flat kitchens (a great skill to learn before heading to live independently). Once all the washing up was done, they headed to their next session on sociology. The academic staff were excellent and after an introduction to sociology, they largely let students lead the way, discussing topics they found interesting. This led to some interesting debates, and students had a really busy morning!

After lunch provided by the university catering team, there was a short wait for both the buses to arrive and students travelled back to their schools. We had some fantastic feedback, with a couple asking to stay longer. It was really rewarding to our hard work paying off, especially as it was the first residential, I had helped to plan.

As we’re now into the summer holidays, the residential was one of the last events of this year and the last school delivery for me. It marks the end of a great few months in which I fell my skills and experience have really grown. I would like to thank both UoC and the schools for all their help organising the tip and helping to make it run as smoothly as possible.

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