Students have been engaging with older community groups in Bristol by running a series of showcases and activities at Parkway Methodist Church in St Werberghs on Monday afternoons. Not only are these experiences a great way to give back to the local community, but they also develop planning and presentation skills, and it looks great on a CV!
We caught up with Kayleigh, Katie, Lillian, and Darya to hear about their sessions:
Career Peer Support Assistants (CPSAs)
For the first session, our CPSAs (students who work with us at the Careers Service alongside their studies) ran a bingo game.
Spending the afternoon with wonderful people in a community that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to engage with was both rewarding and just good fun! It’s easy to become comfortable within your own community bubble and the session reminded me that engaging with others whose experiences are different to your own can really teach you a lot, not only about others but also yourself.
I found the community outreach session to be a super rewarding experience. I had never led an event before, but I now feel confident that I could lead one in future. It was also a unique opportunity to talk to a really friendly group of people, which I would never usually come into contact within my university bubble!
Chinese Theatre and Film Society
The second session was run by the Chinese Theatre and Film Society, represented by Julie and Lillian. They showed Masters in Forbidden City, a documentary on the artwork being restored in the Forbidden City in Beijing, and held a fantastic question-and-answer session afterward.
For our event, we were delighted to introduce the older members of the community to the heritage restorers working at the Forbidden Palace. We were delighted to be able to connect with so many people about Chinese culture, Chinese heritage restoration, and historic issues. People were also very active in asking questions, which made us feel welcome!
The latest session was run by the Archery Society, represented by Darya and Paula, who presented a fantastic talk about the history and current sport of archery and even demonstrated how to put together a bow.
This has been a great opportunity to speak about the sport outside the university context. The informal atmosphere made the experience really relaxed, and all the community members were lovely. It definitely felt like a worthwhile thing to do because the community members were interested and engaged. But it was also a way to develop transferable skills such as public speaking, which was a great bonus.
Would you like to take part in our community outreach sessions?
Your session can be on anything; your subject, your society, your hobbies, or you can just run an informal chat with the elderly community of St Werburgh’s. These sessions will develop your planning, presentation skills, subject expertise, and communication skills, and can count towards the Bristol PLUS Award.