Transforming Students and Society

Posted by mn251 at Mar 08, 2019 09:54 AM |
Over 30 students worked in collaboration with the Transform Society and the Home Office to develop ideas to tackle youth violence.

Taking place on 1 March, students from criminology, sociology, geography, history, politics and international relations, and media and communications took part in the inaugural Transform Challenge Day.

Youth violence, particularly knife crime, is both a local and national issue. In 2017-2018, one in five people who were cautioned, reprimanded or convicted for carrying a knife in England and Wales were under 18, the highest number in eight years.

The Transform Society comprises five charities who recruit public sector workers, including TeachFirst (teachers), Frontline (child social work), Unlocked (prison officers), Think Ahead (adult mental health) and Police Now (police).

Students gained an understanding of youth violence through panel discussions and interactive workshops including from Leicestershire Police, Fullhurst Community College and Leicester Prison, before developing and presenting a multi-agency, collaborative solution to the issue.

After a competitive pitch off, students in Team Innov8 – Haider-Ali Maqsood, Holly Morris, Darshan Leslie, Kianna Hanson and Lakeisha Crawford – were declared the winners. They will travel to London to share their idea with Home Office ministers and meet graduate employers.

As well as providing students the opportunity to solve a real-life problem, the day also aimed to improve students’ confidence using communication, teamwork and problem solving skills.

81% of students rated the Transform Challenge Day at least 9 out of 10, with feedback including that participants ‘found their feet in a team’, ‘learnt how to work with [their] peers better’, and had made new friends.

Jon Scott, Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, said: “The Transform Challenge Day provided an exceptional opportunity for our students from across the University to engage with professional experts to discuss the highly topical, real-world issue of knife crime. The students had access to a wide range of information and were able to develop creative solutions which they presented at the end of the day. As one of the judges on the Panel I was hugely impressed by the thoughtfulness and pragmatic imagination shown by all the students.

The University is very grateful to the Police, Prison Service, Home Office and Transform for giving up the time to engage with us. It is especially exciting that the winning group will have the opportunity to present their proposals to the Home Office Team.”

For further information about the Transform Challenge Day, contact Marie Muir: mm693@le.ac.uk.

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