The Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) Faculty has been helping to inspire and raise the aspirations of at risk and vulnerable young men from Leigh Park.
The 10-week ‘Game On’ project was a collaboration between CCI, the New Theatre Royal and Active Communities Network (ACN) and funded by Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Artswork.
Eight young men aged between 13-22 years worked with Geoffrey ‘Tiny’ Turner from CCI to develop mobile phone gaming apps and had an opportunity to understand possible pathways within further and higher education to support careers that they have a passion in. The participants gain a certified recognition in an Arts Award and increased confidence and skills, while raising their aspirations and helping to reduce any risk factors they are facing. The project has also served to strengthen relationships between the Havant Neighbourhood Policing team and the participants with officers attending various sessions throughout the programme.
Participant Harry, 14, said: “Being on the project has been amazing, Tiny has blown my mind with all this technology stuff and I love filming and games myself so this has been really good. The guys here get that I can’t always concentrate and they help me keep focused and keep me going. I’ve started making my own YouTube channel with my scooter, so this project has given me loads of ideas for that too I can’t wait to have more time to focus on that.”
Simon Brookes, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, said: “This project has been a wonderful example of the mutually beneficial opportunities that can arise from collaborative working between the University and its partners in the community. It is pleasing to see the positive impact that it has had on participants and I look forward to the project being developed further to help the wider community.”
For the past three years, ACN has worked with a number of University faculties and departments including Criminology, Child and Youth Studies, Social Work and Sports Development through joint partnerships to provide placements, paid work, and volunteering opportunities through Purple Door; and filmmaking and creative cultural projects with the Creative and Cultural Industries Faculty.
The partnership has supported students to gain additional experience in their chosen careers paths and a high majority have progressed into paid work with ACN and partners
Julian Wadsworth MBE, ACN National Partnerships Manager: “The “Game on” project has been a fantastic experience for these young people, giving them an opportunity to develop new transferable skills, which has resulted in increased confidence and raised aspirations.
“The young men, who have never previously visited the University, are passionate about gaming and have really benefited from working with enthusiastic lecturers and students. They have increased their knowledge about career pathways within this exciting sector and all the young people have progressed to work independently to design and develop their own gaming app; earning an accredited Arts Award in recognition of their hard work.
“We are thrilled to be working with the University of Portsmouth across a number of faculties, working in partnership to inspire young people across our local communities.”