Earlier this year, the University launched a Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) to enable students to take advantage of career enhancing and life changing opportunities.

The fund ensures that costs are not a barrier to students making the most of their experience at Edge Hill. It allows undergraduate students to apply for up to £2,000 which can help towards the cost of activities designed to prepare them for the future and enhance their employability skills.

So far, 62 students across 14 departments have been awarded funding for a range of activities from interning overseas at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in America and the Computational Biology Department in Tokyo, to placements at the BBC and volunteering with local charities.

Other examples include a student working in the Liverpool Film Office, Animation students organised a showcase in Manchester and some students presented at an academic Microbiology conference in Edinburgh.

The SOF covered travel costs for Film students Samantha Steele and Ben Loveland when they completed a two week internship at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in Michigan.

A group of students will embark on a Study China programme comprising a 20 day trip to Beijing, Shanghai or Hangzhou, funded by the SOF.

The SOF will provide additional finance for keen biologist Ashley Tuffin’s 8 month sandwich placement to The Morton Arboretum, a 1,700 acre living museum in Illinois, where he will research prairie restoration and Oak tree hybridisation.

The SOF has paid travel expenses for Ben Llewelyn-Reid to complete a five month internship at Verb Marketing, a digital marketing company in Liverpool run by Edge Hill graduate Dean Currall.

The SOF financed Creative Writing graduate Ryan Leder’s production, Numbered Days, which was shown at The Core at Corby Cube, Northamptonshire.

Coaching students experience US elite sport environment

A group of Edge Hill BA (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development students visited a prestigious US University to experience coaching in elite sport.

During the week-long visit to Indiana State University (ISU), ten first and second year students took part in a range of activities to enhance their employability and academic prospects.

Lecturer Dr Greg Doncaster, who organised the visit alongside Edge Hill’s International Office, said: “This highly successful visit gave students the chance to explore coaching practices on a global context, wider career opportunities and work collaboratively with international students studying in a similar field.”

The trip, which was made possible by Edge Hill University’s Student Opportunity Fund, saw students attend practical and classroom-based masterclasses with ISU academics, observe elite ISU teams in training, attend a regional baseball game, take part in a Q&A session with ISU’s American football team coaching staff and tour the Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis.

The students also volunteered at a Special Olympics event hosted by the state of Indiana, in collaboration with ISU, which gave them experience of coaching athletes with disabilities, an area covered in their degree course.

Greg Doncaster said: “The trip was such a success and the students were a credit to Edge Hill. Hopefully we can develop the partnership with ISU further, either through identifying research opportunities or maybe even further visits.”

Student Rik Southworth said: “The trip to ISU was eye opening and really helped to link together parts of my first year studies at Edge Hill. It also showed me the kinds of opportunities and jobs I can aim towards later on in my studies and after graduating.”

Earlier this year, the University launched the Student Opportunity Fund to enable students to take advantage of career enhancing and life changing opportunities. Find out more here

Find out more about studying Sports Coaching and Development here

Asim gets a taste of his dream job thanks to student fund

First year Computing student Asim Hussain has his heart set on a career with a global technology company, and thanks to the Student Opportunity Fund he is one step closer.

Asim managed to secure five days’ work experience at Sky Technology in London, and the Student Opportunity Fund made this possible by covering the costs of his travel and accommodation.

“The main reason I applied for a placement at Sky was because it is a large organisation providing many fantastic opportunities within the technology sector. I love technology and there is no better place to gain experience than with a global media company.

“During the week I worked within different sections of the Technology Department, from planning to networking and fibre construction. The work experience was hands on and involved attending meetings and working with large teams trying to achieve the aims and objectives for the day. I learnt a lot about the Sky Fibre network and how everything is routed and supplied to the customer.

“I was fortunate to work in areas of the organisation that will cover my module choices in September and it gave me an understanding of the subject knowledge and the practicalities within a working environment. I had the chance to meet the Director of the Technology Department who answered my questions about future opportunities and we discussed how after graduating, Sky could be the place for me.”

This experience has provided Asim with a wealth of knowledge and enhanced his employability skills. He is now eager to gain more experience and will be applying for a summer placement at Sky in his second year to gain experience in the other sectors of the organisation.

Once he has graduated, Asim would like to be part of a technology development team working as a project planner to grow and develop large companies like Sky.

Find out more about the Student Opportunity Fund here.

Creative Writing graduate stages his first show

Creative Writing graduate Ryan Leder’s production Numbered Days was shown at the Core at Corby Cube last month, and the Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) made this possible.

As the play required a lot of time and dedication, the SOF covered travel costs and living expenses for the cast and crew – without this financial support some members would have been unable to participate.

Numbered Days is Theatre in Black’s first ever production, and was written and directed by Ryan, the group’s founder.

Taking a stark look at love in the digital age, Numbered Days follows Rebecca, played by Georgie Cunningham, and Charlotte, who is played by Edge Hill graduate Joy Carleton. They are two university students who have fallen in love after meeting online, but with over five-thousand miles between them, they begin to question whether a future together is even possible.

“Being able to stage Numbered Days debut in Northamptonshire, more specifically The Core at Corby Cube, was very special for me,” said Ryan. “While I initially started in theatre by joining local amateur theatre groups and summer programmes, it was at The Core where I really started to become a theatre maker, moving away from acting and more towards writing and production. The support offered by staff, as well as the opportunities offered by the theatre, gave me a space to experiment and develop my skills since I was fifteen.

“With my graduation during the same week as Numbered Days debut, I essentially went from a student to a graduate to a theatre maker in the space of one week. While getting this opportunity so soon after graduating was hugely exciting, it was also extremely daunting. The rehearsal process was certainly filled with plenty of trial and error, but with the show receiving such a positive response from its first performance, I now feel that I have the confidence to take Numbered Days further and onto new endeavours, as well as continuing to build Theatre In Black’s reputation and catalogue of work.”

Reviewing the show, On Stage Northants said: ‘The play is witty and didn’t shy away from any aspect of relationships – sex, family, jealousy and insecurity were all faced head on, with Leder’s beautifully penned dialogue never making the subjects seem forced or unnatural…This was an outstanding debut piece, and I look forward to seeing what Ryan Leder will produce next.’

Discover more about Ryan’s company on Facebook and Twitter.

Find out more about the Student Opportunity Fund here.

Student Opportunity Fund provides “brilliant learning experience” for Paramedic students

The Student Opportunity Fund is supporting an ongoing collaboration between Edge Hill’s Paramedic Practice students and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

In addition to their normal course curriculum, second year students on the DipHE Paramedic Practice course have been given the chance to gain hands on experience of patient extrication from simulated car incidents while training with the GMFRS at the station in Stockport.

Students are able to practice these scenarios using live casualties to make it more realistic. Patients are made up of former Edge Hill students who volunteer, along with third year Operating Department Practice students.

The Student Opportunity Fund has paid for the salvaged cars used in the training. The cars are provided by Stalybridge Auto Salvage, who work closely with the GMFRS, and they are cleaned and emptied prior to the training to make sure they’re safe to use.

So far, over 120 students have benefitted from the training which equips them with a number of skills from rapid patient assessment, techniques for extrication and teamwork, to risk management, experience of challenging environments and triage.

Karen Simpson-Scott, Senior Lecturer in Paramedic Science and Hospital Care has spearheaded the partnership.

“As well as supporting the Trauma Management module, this training enhances the student experience as it provides a unique learning experience to develop leadership and work closely with the emergency services,” said Karen. “It’s highly regarded by the students as a valuable opportunity and echoed by the GMFRS.

“The Fire service do not charge anything for this training and it is a well-established partnership which always creates positive feedback. The only cost to Edge Hill is the salvaged cars for training, which is paid for by the Student Opportunity Fund.”

The response from students who attended the training course has been really positive, and after analysing the feedback forms, students have rated the overall experience, the teaching on the day and the simulated scenarios at nine out of ten.

Students have described the day as “a brilliant learning experience providing a great overview of what the fire service does on scene”, and “using live casualties makes it much more realistic.”