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University of Brighton programme celebrates ten years
The Community University Partnership Programme at the University of Brighton celebrated its tenth anniversary this month.
The programme has helped hundreds of community organisations over the years, enabling 1,000 students to undertake community projects as part of their studies.
Its successes include a project which gives artists with learning difficulties access to university-level tuition, a project to help older people understand their prescriptions, as well as work with Brighton and Hove Albion FC to use sport to tackle social problems.
The Community University Partnership Programme (Cupp) provides a first point of contact with the university for community organisations, and works with them to develop sustainable partnerships that benefit both the lives of local people and the quality of university teaching and research.
One recent example of work with young people is the project Make Your Mark.
The programme is based on the idea of resilience, and teaches methods to help children and young people manage life when it gets tough.
The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which explored how community visual arts practice can help young people flourish and connect with their communities despite adverse experiences they may have faced.
The research focused on young people with disabilities and young people facing mental health challenges, and explored the potential benefits of visual arts for these young people.
Development guide The project also involved a reviewof existing research findings in this area, including academic literature in the fields of health and impairment.
All those involved in the research, including young people who participated in the art workshops, contributed to the development of a guide for working with young people with complex needs: Visual Arts Practice for Resilience.
Emily is one young person who participated in the Visual Arts Practice for Resilience Study with the University of Brighton.
She said: “It’s built my confidence up, like I can travel on the bus without getting nervous.
“And when I go home I feel good about myself, I get on better with my family because if I’m doing art and I’m expressing my feelings about things like college and stuff, and then when I go home and see my family, well my foster family, I feel really cuddly and really happy.”
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