Bedlington signs up to the CU
Young people from every school in Bedlington will soon have access to an exciting national programme - Children's University™ - thanks to support from three local town councils.
The Children’s University™ is an exciting programme which encourages young people aged 5 -14 for to get involved in quality activity outside of the normal school day.
The Passport-based system, which is managed in Northumberland by local charity Leading Link, can include anything from an after school club or a sports or dance class to a visit to a museum.
Bedlingtonshire Community High School have recently signed up with the charity for 2015/2016, which allows each of their feeder schools to get involved as well.
Membership to Northumberland Children’s University™, which usually costs £5 per child, is being covered by funding from each of the schools’ local town councils.
East Bedlington Parish Council is paying for individual membership for groups of students at Bedlington Station Primary, Cambois Primary and Stead Lane Primary, while Choppington Parish Council has committed to funding some of the children at Choppington Primary, Mowbray Primary, Ringway Primary and Stakeford Primary schools to be involved.
This follows financial support from West Bedlington Town Council, who have funded a year’s membership for the schools in their area - namely Meadowdale Academy, West End First School and Whitley Memorial First School.
St Bede’s Primary School and St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy are longstanding members of the programme.
Lyn Horton, manager of Leading Link, said: “We are extremely excited to welcome Bedlingtonshire Community High School into Northumberland Children’s University™ and with them, all of the schools in their catchment area.”
“We are also extremely grateful to West Bedlington Town Council, East Bedlington Parish Council and Choppington Parish Council for giving financial support to allow nearly every child in Bedlington access to this exciting programme.”
“We have even been working with The Salvation Army in Bedlington, who are now able to issue passports to those that cannot sign up through their school – this really is a coup for the town.”
The charity has also recently agreed a partnership with the Virtual School for looked after children, which will see 250 passports distributed to young people in care across the county.
Lyn added: “We have been steadily growing the Children’s University™ in Northumberland for the last year now and we are delighted with the fantastic response its impact is having in the area.”
For every hour that young people take part, they are working towards National Children’s University™ Awards - the young people put on their caps and gown and are invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the end of each year with their families, where certificates are awarded to those completed.
Over 250 young people have graduated from the two Northumberland Children’s University™ graduations that have taken place since 2013.
The graduations have even been attended by special guests including popular television personalities Ant and Dec and inspirational Paralympian Craig McCann, who both congratulated and presented the graduates with their certificates.
The first graduation for Passport holders in Bedlington is set to take place in October.
For more information about Children’s University visit the website.