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, to 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.

Chinese classes, culture and cuisine on the menu for skill-seeking students

Tiananmen Square

Two Edge Hill students have expanded their horizons – and their CVs – thanks to a once-in-a-lifetime trip to China, funded by the University’s Student Opportunity Fund.

Launched last year, the Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) enables students to take advantage of career enhancing and life changing opportunities through a grant of up to £2,000. This can help towards the cost of activities designed to prepare them for the future and enhance their employability skills.

After successfully applying for SOF funding, first year trainee teacher Charlotte Cropper and Business student James McGarrie, who is in his final year, spent three weeks immersing themselves in Chinese culture and gaining vital employability skills as part of the Study China programme, run by the University of Manchester and funded by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

They had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with a Chinese family

The pair joined students at Beijing Normal University to study an intensive Chinese Mandarin course, while enjoying the local culture. As well as excursions to world-famous attractions, including the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and the Bird’s Nest Stadium, the iconic centrepiece of the 2008 Olympics, the students were welcomed into a Chinese family’s home to experience Chinese life and traditions. They also tried their hand at Thai Chi, Chinese calligraphy and karaoke during the action-packed trip.

James said:

“I had a fantastic time studying in China. How many of your friends can say they have walked the Great Wall of China or had Peking Duck cooked by acclaimed Chinese chefs?

“I feel very fortunate to have been able to utilise the Student Opportunity Fund which covered the entirety of my expenses including flights, visa, insurance and spends.”

They booked a private cooking class with a 5* chef and were shown how to fold dumplings, cut shiitake mushrooms and make dishes such as sweet and sour chicken

As well as boosting their personal development, both James and Charlotte feel the trip has enhanced their skills and made them more attractive to future employers.

“Being involved in Study China has given me a unique life experience that will enrich me as a teacher and help me stand out from other candidates when I am interviewed for a job,” said Charlotte. “Good teaching positions are competitive and this could put me in a really strong position for entering my career.”

James added:

“As a business undergraduate, having experience of Mandarin is an exceptional advantage. Already this is proving a great conversation starter and a good CV enhancer. I have been offered graduate interviews with the intention of starting full-time employment as soon as I finish my last module, and I believe studying in China has helped.”

Find out more about the SOF here.

University funded trip changes career direction of talented human biologist

A talented Biology graduate from Edge Hill University has completely changed her career path after the University paid for her to complete a work experience placement in Japan.

Jazmin Kean who graduated this summer with a First in BSc (Hons) Human Biology was planning a Masters focussing on the study of mosquito borne diseases.

But after studying DNA repair proteins responsible for hereditary cancers in Tokoyo she has now switched to a Biomedical Masters.

Jazmin said:

“I spent last summer working as a Research Assistant in Edge Hill’s Biology department which was really helpful to my final year of study, so I was really keen to arrange another placement this summer.

“I was desperately trying to arrange a volunteer placement related to mosquitoes but it’s really difficult to be accepted anywhere at undergraduate level. I came across an old 2014 advert for a placement studying proteins in Ochanomizu University in Tokoyo and dropped them an email on the off-chance.

“To my great surprise they came back and offered me a six week placement assisting their PhD students studying the DNA of the repair protein BRCA 1 which is an indicator of hereditary ovarian and breast cancers.

“But with it being in Japan I would never have been able to afford to go without the help of the University’s Student Opportunity Fund.”

 

Jazmin found herself working under one of Japan’s leading genome and bioinformatics Professors, Kei Yura.

She said:

“It was an amazing experience. They made me feel very welcome and although the lectures were in Japanese they give me a Macbook so I had everything in English and I met with Prof Yura each week.

“I was responsible for gathering information and existing research on BRCA 1 and I absolutely loved it. I never thought that I’d want to study protein science and bioinformatics (a combination of computer science, programming and statistics to interpret biological data) but something just clicked.

“That’s why I’ve switched my Masters and I’ve just moved to Glasgow to study Biomedical Science and I hope to specialise in cancer research.”

She added: “I can’t thank Edge Hill enough for funding my flight and accommodation but more than that, for helping me decide on my future career direction. Thanks to that placement I was able to demonstrate my interest and background in protein science to change course and I’m sure it will help me when I apply for future placements.”

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

University robots to improve the care of older people, patients and autistic children

Edge Hill University’s Computer Science Department is building pioneering robots to help monitor and care for older people, patients and autistic children.

A team of students have spent the summer teaching Robbie, a toddler sized robot, to recognise 90 common objects as well as human actions and emotions.

Thanks to the availability of large-scale annotated images, Robbie can now learn from these images and then use his eyes to recognise items and actions, guess the gender and estimate the age of the person in front of him and identify if they’re sad, surprised, happy, angry or disgusted.

He speaks aloud and will say phrases such as ‘you are eating a banana’ and ‘you are a male, aged 37 and you are happy today’.

It’s hoped Robbie and robots like him will be able to become companions to the young and old and monitor their daily activities, anything from how many times and when they have a drink to what they eat and any activities they complete.

Ardhendu Behera, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science who is leading the project, said:

“There is lots of research involving robots and they are already used widely in industrial applications such as manufacturing, service sectors and health procedures such as keyhole surgery.

“However they are not yet used in the social care sector where we see huge potential for development and growth. Robots like Robbie could be used in so many situations and settings to monitor vulnerable people.

“Initially we see Robbie being most useful in residential care homes where he can be a companion to residents and can keep an eye on them, watching and recording what they eat, drink, if they take their medication, their emotions and more.

“Similarly we think Robbie would be very helpful in the diagnosis of learning disabilities such as autism. It’s difficult to diagnose children in a short clinical session such as at a doctor’s surgery, but if a robot could report on the child’s behaviour and activity over say a 24 hour period this would massively help understand that child’s routine.

“In modern times with our aging society, we believe robots can play a vital role in the care of older people. They could also be used in a traditional home setting, observing an older person between visits by a carer or relative for example. The possibilities are endless.”

Ardhendu is currently in talks with West Lancashire Borough Council and Home Instead Senior Care residential care providers about trialling Robbie in a care home setting to gain ‘real’ data.

Ardhendu added:

This project stemmed from an eight week summer project providing career development opportunities for students funded by the University’s Student Opportunity Fund. It’s a framework I plan to develop and offer to students each year to drive the project forward.”

Zachary Wharton, 21, a second-year student, said:

It’s been great working on a real research project and I’ve learnt so much about programming and handling data sets.”

Earlier this year, Edge Hill launched the 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.

See a video of Robbie in action below:

Students get a flavour of Chinese culture

From taking part in tea ceremonies to getting up close with pandas, nine Edge Hill students had the opportunity to broaden their horizons and practice their Mandarin on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to China – made possible by the new Student Opportunity Fund.

The trip to Chongqing, organised by the University’s Confucius Institute, gave students the chance to immerse themselves in Chinese culture while taking classes alongside Chinese students at Chongqing Normal University. As well as Mandarin sessions to improve their language skills, the students visited local schools to observe lessons and help the children practise their English. The trip also gave students the opportunity to experience traditional cultural activities, including tea ceremonies, painting and calligraphy, martial arts and folk dancing, and enjoy local attractions such as the Chongqing Zoo, the ancient town of Ci Qi Kou and the Dazu rock carvings, a World Heritage Site.

2nd year Television Production Management student, Hana Diaa, who took part in the trip, said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chongqing and it is an experience I will never forget. I was quite worried about being in a different country by myself but the students we met were so kind and welcoming. I have made lifetime friends in China that I will always stay in contact with no matter what.”

The 12-day trip in June was part-funded by the newly-launched Student Opportunity Fund, which provides financial support to enable students to access career-enhancing projects or activities.

Shaun Watson, a 2nd year studying Computing (Games Programming), believes the trip has definitely improved his employability:

“I think the trip is a great stamp on your CV as it shows commitment and responsibility. Chinese being the first language of most people we spoke to, there’s experience with dealing with language barriers and other communication skills that I think would be attractive to international businesses.”

Elaine Jones, Confucius Institute Manager, helped to organise the trip. She said:

“This trip provided unique experiences for students to engage and understand Chinese traditions and culture and have contributed to their personal and social development.”

Dr Lei Yong, Director of the Office of International Education, Chongqing Normal University, added:

“It was a really successful trip. The students from Edge Hill University demonstrated their passion for Chinese language and culture. As ambassadors of EHU, I believe their visit definitely deepened the friendship between two universities.”

Biology student jets to America for eight month research project

Edge Hill University has provided second year student Ashley Tuffin with the chance to work as part of a research team at The Morton Arboretum, a world-renowned leader in tree science and education in Lisle, Illinois.

Ashley, who is on the BSc (Hons) Genetics course, will spend eight months exploring the restoration of prairie ecosystems and oak tree hybridization, and this has been made possible by the Student Opportunity Fund.

Established in 1922, The Morton Arboretum is a 1,700 acre tree museum with a four acre interactive children’s garden, public gardens, a library, herbarium, and Centre for Tree Science. Its grounds include catalogued collections of trees and other living plants, gardens and restored areas. The living collections include more than 4,100 different plant species with over 200,000 catalogued plants.

“The money I received helped pay for many things, from the flights and visa fees to regular travel costs,” said Ashley. “I heard about the Student Opportunity Fund from the Money Advice Team, during my time working as a money buddy and it was also recommended to me by Paul Ashton, my personal tutor, when we were arranging my trip.

“The placement at The Morton Arboretum involves participating in very real scientific research projects. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to get some real-world experience both in the field and in the lab.

“The Morton Arboretum do a lot of ecological work as well as genetic work, the two main focuses of my degree, which meant it was an ideal place for me to learn more about my field. I hope to learn more about phylogenetics, as well as more generally what it’s like to work in the research sector.”

After graduating, Ashley hopes to complete a Master’s degree, specialising further in Genetics.

“I hope to complete the next stage of my degree in a part of the country that I have not seen much of before, although Ormskirk will always hold a special place in my heart,” said Ashley.

Ashley will be at The Moreton Arboretum from October 2017 – April 2018 and will be writing regular blog posts to keep everyone up to date.

Click here to read Ashley’s first post.

University fund helps student follow her animation dreams

Shot from Chelbie’s third year degree film ‘Parable of Patrick

An Edge Hill University graduate has helped create the latest full length feature animation Night of the Trampires thanks to help from the University’s Student Opportunity Fund (SOF).

Chelbie Seed, who has just graduated with a 2:1 in Stop Motion Animation, spent two weeks in a purpose built studio in Wales helping shoot the soon to be released animation film.

Focusing on the bloody murder investigations of LA maverick cop, Chuck Steel, Chelbie spent her time painstakingly creating props and scenery for the film which sees a scourge of mutated vampires and tramps descend on the city. Chelbie, 22, said:

“It was amazing to work on a real film and gain valuable industry experience. The work ethic of the company and the detail that went into the sets was incredible. I helped create lots of things, from popcorn and shop window displays to surfboards. It was fantastic to gain hands-on practical experience, and without the SOF I would never have been able to travel to and stay in South Wales for a fortnight.”

Inspired by her love of Morph and Wallace and Gromit, Chelbie now hopes to use her degree and work experience as a springboard into children’s animation. She added:

“My degree was great as I got lots of support from my personal tutor and the course was practical, which meant we were encouraged to gain as much work experience as possible. I only wish I’d known about the SOF before my final year as I’d have applied earlier and could have looked at opportunities outside of the immediate area.”

Chelbie was also joined at Animortal Studios by another Edge Hill summer graduate who helped build and sculpt plasticine characters.

Earlier this year, Edge Hill launched the 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.

Location, location, location

Liverpool’s waterfront – one of the city’s many great film locations

Finding the perfect location is a vital part of making a film, as Television Production Management student Eleanor Fox found during a work placement with the Liverpool Film Office (LFO), which was made possible by the newly-launched Student Opportunity Fund.

As well as learning how to manage the LFO’s database of locations, crews and projects, Eleanor also got a taste of dealing with new projects submitted and how to resolve any problems filmmakers might have, including space, permissions and even parking and catering.

She said: “It was so interesting to see how the LFO works and I tried to soak all of the information up!

“This experience was very important for my future employment as it gave me information about how projects start up and get made, as well as all the things you need to think about when selecting a location, and this enabled me to identify areas that I was particularly interested in for future careers. It also gave me invaluable references for the future.”

Jacqui Rafferty, Production Coordinator at Liverpool Film Office, added:

“Eleanor’s request arrived in our inbox, among many others, and in just a few lines it was her character, clear understanding of what she wanted, as well as her enthusiasm, which really shone through in her email and impressed us immensely.

Having Eleanor in the office for two weeks over the summer proved a massive help in the day to day running of such a busy time at the Liverpool Film Office. We will be keeping in touch and watching with excitement as Eleanor progresses in the film and TV world once she finishes her studies.”

The Student Opportunity Fund provides financial support to enable students to access career-enhancing projects or activities. It was a lifeline for Eleanor as she was at home in Nottingham for half of the placement and needed to travel to Liverpool and stay locally.

“The SOF helped immensely with all of the accommodation and travel costs,” said Eleanor, “so that I could comfortably get to the office every day and didn’t need to worry about the cost of this amazing experience.”

 

 

Dedicated student is changing the lives of children

Volunteering with vulnerable children who have lost their loved ones is providing Chelsea Watters with the skills she’ll need for her future career.

Second year Psychology student Chelsea, who dreams of becoming a Forensic Psychologist, volunteers with Liverpool-based charity Our Lost Love Years (OLLY) several times a week, all made possible by the Student Opportunity Fund which is covering all of her travel costs.

Chelsea found out about the charity on the Edge Hill careers website when looking for extracurricular work experience.

OLLY provides children and young people who have lost loved ones through acts of violence, and children from communities across Merseyside, with support and a range of activities designed to help have fun again and make friends following their traumatic experiences. At the moment they have around 60 children using their services.

Chelsea takes the children on trips, such as to the cinema or bowling, and spends time with them doing other activities including arts and design, music and dance, team building and drama workshops.

“My tutor told us about the Student Opportunity Fund in one of our essential skills sessions,” said Chelsea. “I have really benefitted from the Fund as it has allowed me to do something which I love, and it has given me the opportunity to gain experience for when it comes to doing a Masters in Forensic Psychology in the future.

“There are so many great people at OLLY – the staff are amazing as are the clients – and I’ve learnt lots of new skills. It has been an amazing experience and I’ll continue to volunteer with them throughout my second year.”

Running the show

A successful application to Edge Hill University’s new Student Opportunity Fund gave Abby McCrorie the chance to enhance her career prospects by going behind the scenes of one of the UK’s best-loved soaps.

Third year Television Production Management student Abby spent a week as a 3rd Assistant Director/Runner for Lime Pictures, working on the set of Hollyoaks. She was responsible for looking after the actors – making sure they had their scripts, getting them into hair and make-up on time and then ensuring they were on set when they were needed. She was also in charge of keeping the set quiet for filming and signing off the completed scenes.

“As a Runner, I literally ran around making sure nothing was forgotten,” said Abby. “It was a lot of pressure to get everything done on time, because if one thing slipped up, or any of the actors wandered off, it was my responsibility. Being a Runner is commonly seen as the least important job on the crew, but actually, it’s one of the most important jobs because you are in charge of a lot of things. They seem small but, actually, without a 3rd AD/Runner there would be struggles.”

Abby applied to the Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) for help with the costs of travelling from Chorley, Lancashire to the Hollyoaks set in Childwall, Liverpool. The newly-launched Fund provides financial support to enable students to access career-enhancing projects or activities.

“The SOF enabled me to get work experience to help me better understand all the elements that go into producing television programmes,” said Abby.

“During the placement, I gained organisation skills, people and communication skills, making sure I was on the ball at all times, and keeping my call sheet with me at all times to keep on top of everything each day. I loved working on set, seeing how everything worked, and how crew worked together, and I’m sure this will help my future career.”

 

International rescue

Three Paramedic Practice students have had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience working in the emergency services in Finland, as part of an exchange programme funded by the newly launched Student Opportunity Fund.

The Fund, which provides financial support to enable students to access career-enhancing projects or activities, allowed Second Years Gary Bird, Stephen Lane and Jamie Schorah to spend ten days at Saimaa University, working with Finnish ambulance crews and taking part in clinical simulations and lectures at the university alongside Finnish students.

Stephen Lane said:

“We took part in practical exercises with Nursing and Paramedic students involving water rescues, road traffic collisions and patient extrication from vehicles, playing the part of ambulance crew members and patients. We also attended lectures and practical exercises on cannulation and intubation techniques. In Finland they practice cannulation on each other, whereas over here we use dummies and simulation arms, so that added a sense of realism to the skill, especially as the students’ abilities varied!

“We also went out with the local ambulances crews and undertook a 12 hour and a 24 hour shift with them over the course of the visit.”

Gary Bird added: “Taking part in the exchange allowed me see how incidents are handled in the UK compared with Finland. It gave me a basic understanding of how healthcare is provided in another country and allowed a comparison to the UK healthcare model.”

Andy Kirk, Associate Head of Allied Health Professions Education at Edge Hill, who was instrumental in setting up the partnership with Saimaa University, said:

“Having an international dimension to their studies will greatly enhance the students’ employability.”

Stephen agreed, saying: “I found the time on the ambulances the most rewarding. Being able to meet different people from a different culture and seeing how similar the job is even with the cultural differences. From this experience, the chance of working abroad in the future as a paramedic has been turned into a real possibility.”

Andy added: “The exchange programme has been so successful that we’ve extended it to our Operating Department Practice (ODP) students now. We have two ODP students and four more Paramedic Practice students going out to Finland later this year, also funded by the Student Opportunity Fund, and two Finnish lecturers are coming to Edge Hill to run off-site simulations for our students.”

Internship goes down a storm thanks to Student Opportunity Fund

Television Production Management student Dario Guarini had the chance to experience life in a busy film production office when he completed a four-month internship with Liverpool-based Hurricane Films.

Dario undertook a range of roles during his internship, including reviewing unsolicited scripts to assess their cinematic potential, and working with the Head of Development on a project to track sources and digitally archive the details of artefacts from texts on Emily Dickinson’s poetry.

“The best activity I took part in was going on a shoot in Manchester at the Edge Hill Campus,” said Dario. “We were shooting a short factual film about the Paramedic and Operating Department Practice students. That job helped me become more desirable for runner type positions in future paid productions.”

However, Dario found covering his travel expenses each week increasingly difficult, so he applied to the newly-launched Student Opportunity Fund, which provides financial support to enable students to access career-enhancing projects or activities.

He said: “Money was pouring out of my account every week to cover transport and soon I found it nearly impossible to fund out of my own pocket. Luckily, I found the Student Opportunity Fund and that really helped me reimburse my financial losses and provided support to cover my travel until I finished the internship.

“I really enjoyed my time at Hurricane Films as it gave me a taste of what working in the Film and TV industry is really like.”

 

Students go behind the scenes at film festival

From liaising with filmmakers to helping with local publicity, two Edge Hill Film Studies students had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at a major US film festival – thanks to the University’s Student Opportunity Fund.

Samantha Steele and Ben Loveland won the coveted internships as part of a flourishing partnership between Edge Hill and the Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF), the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America. To help them with the high costs involved in flying to, and staying in, Michigan they applied to the newly-launched Student Opportunity Fund, which provides financial support to enable students to access career-enhancing projects or activities.

During the two-week internship, Sam and Ben were involved in all aspects of the event, giving them an authentic taste of what it takes to deliver a six-day festival, featuring 180 films plus exhibitions, panel discussions and community programmes, and allowing them to gain the skills and experience to impress future employers.

After a busy first week meeting the team and helping with festival preparations, including decorating the Michigan Theatre, the AAFF’s main venue, the pair were given roles for the duration of the festival. Ben was based in the Michigan Theatre helping volunteers, greeting filmmakers and even going on food runs across Ann Arbor to keep the team fed. Sam, meanwhile, helped to manage an exhibition that included workshops and installations, making sure the artists had everything they needed throughout the festival.

Sam said:

“I experienced Ann Arbor in a great way through the festival, I got to know local people and companies that felt like close friends by the end of the two weeks. I also learnt about the distribution of films and the behind the scenes intricacies of film festivals. The best thing I did would probably be filming out there. I got some great footage and I am now making a promotional video to help get the festival more volunteers.”

Both Ben and Sam believe their experience at the AAFF will have an impact on their future employability in the highly competitive film industry.

Sam said: “We had an amazing time and gained so much from it. I am now in contact with multiple filmmakers, artists and funding people from all over the world that should hopefully lead to more amazing opportunities.”

Ben added:

“In terms of preparing me for my future, Ann Arbor helped me immensely, just getting the internship helped my confidence when it comes to applying for film related jobs and helped broaden my horizons when thinking about what a film related job might entail. Getting this internship has helped show me that a difficult career path in analysing films is something that I am able to strive for and succeed in.

“The Student Opportunity Fund was probably one of the most important things in ensuring I was able to have this experience, without it I would have had a much more difficult time acquiring the money needed for the trip. I’m indebted to Edge Hill for this fantastic opportunity.”

Kyle Stefek, Executive Assistant at AAIF, said: “The greatest highlight of my position at the Ann Arbor Film Festival is how closely I am able to work with our team of interns, and each year I eagerly look forward to the energy the Edge Hill interns bring to our team during Festival Week. Sam and Ben were no exception. It was a pleasure to have them on board.”

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.”

Paul Redford, Station Manager for Whitehill and Stockport Community Fire Stations, Stockport and Tameside Area, said:

“This collaboration has evolved over many years.  It gives Fire and Rescue Service emergency crews and the Paramedic Students an opportunity to experience working together in a challenging environment which is controlled.  We debrief every scenario to maximise learning, which in the real world is more difficult, as the casualties and Paramedics are usually on the way to hospital.  I truly believe this is a unique opportunity to train together and promote joint working, which will ultimately benefit those we serve.”

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.”