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University of the First Age

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Young People Inspire YoUFA National Youth Festival Launch

YoUFA, the youth arm of national educational charity The University of the First Age (UFA), hosted its first ever youth festival – YoUFiestA, on 24th June, at Town Hall, Birmingham, UK.

Birmingham, United Kingdom, June 25, 2009 --( YoUFiestA involved 200 young people, aged 10-18 from across England. Participants included 28 Lead Learners, who have set up and are running Learning Clubs in their schools and local areas and who were invited to attend the national festival with their clubs to showcase their achievements.

The event was developed, organised and led by young people for young people with adults supporting, but not leading. Their activities are funded by a CYPF Grant (Children, Young People & Families Grant Programme) part of the DCSF (Department for Children, Schools & Families). It was hosted by the UFA in partnership with Town Hall, Birmingham.

Young people from the following schools and colleges celebrated their achievements at YoUFiestA 2009: City of Leicester College– Leicester; Babington Community Technology College – Leicester; Cardinal Pole RC School – Hackney, London; Our Lady's Convent High School – Hackney, London; Weavers School – Wellingborough, Northamptonshire; Sprowston Community High School – Norwich; The Meadows Community School – Chesterfield, Derbyshire; Westfield Community College – Yeovil, Somerset.

Commenting on the festival, Kyle Smith a YoUFA Rep, said: “We were thrilled to welcome so many young people from across the country to our first ever festival, here in Birmingham.

“We prepared a fun and challenging day that enabled everyone to share their learning and become more motivated in school. We also enjoyed watching each Learning Club showcase their many activities and achievements from across the year.”

The day long YoUFiestA programme included a series of digital workshops which combined together to create a digital art work that was unveiled to all participants at the end of the day. A new YoUFA website was also launched during the festival, which will enable participants to keep in touch and continue to share their experiences throughout the year.

This inaugural YoUFiestA, forms part of the UFA’s wider Young People’s Leadership initiative within which the UFA Learning Clubs offer an exciting new model, that offer out of school activities for young people that schools are required to provide.

To date there are eight UFA Learning Clubs running across England, including: Hackney, London x2; Leicester x2; Norfolk; Somerset; Northamptonshire and Derbyshire. The UFA is looking to recruit other areas across the country to develop this programme. Further information can be obtained from UFA Chief Executive, Linda Gregory on +44(0)121 212 9838.


Media Information:
Please contact Felicity Martin, Marketing and PR Manager, UFA on: +44(0)121 212 9838

Notes to Editors:
· Summaries of each Learning Club’s achievements are available upon request.
· The UFA is a national educational charity - based in Birmingham, working in partnership with Local Authorities, schools and communities to extend learning beyond the school day.
· Its aim is to create an ‘open’ university for young people, so that they can access a range of challenging learning opportunities in and beyond their school.
· Being part of a ‘university’ in early life helps to raise aspirations, increase the likelihood of young people going on to Further and Higher Education and develop skills that will help them succeed in their future lives and employment.
· The UFA works with young people aged 5 – 25 and with adults who support and promote their achievements through developing challenging models of learning not only with schools and teachers but also with parents, community tutors, learning mentors, artists, and professionals from all walks of life.
· Raising young people’s aspirations and achievements by improving confidence and self belief through exciting and memorable educational experiences is at the heart of what the UFA does.
· One of the purposes of the UFA model is to encourage the growth of young people as leaders, motivating and engaging themselves and others in the learning process.
· The training and development of peer tutors in learning teams has been a feature since the UFA’s inception and it was one of the first organisations to develop extensive practice in this area.
· Over 500,000 young people have taken part in UFA activity since 1996.
Contact Information
University of the First Age
Menna Rees-Steer
+44(0)121 212 9838

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