BGU students have been supporting MOVE Project participants via the befriending programme, created by advisors working on the project, to support the well-being of participants and BGU students, as well as providing meaningful opportunities for students and participants to develop themselves personally and professionally.
MOVE Project aims to help people who are unemployed or economically inactive back into employment and learning. The project treats everyone as an individual and therefore, every person’s pathway through the project will be different.
Participants and students have been meeting on a weekly basis, enjoying activities such as arts and crafts, as well as just enjoying a general catch-up over a cup of tea. MOVE project participants and BGU students alike are learning about themselves and each other, forming mutually rewarding friendships. Students are able to record their time on the befriending programme on BGU's Graduate Attributes Excellence Award, as well the BGU Volunteering Award.
Matthew, BA (Hons) Applied Drama in the Community student, and Thomas have been working together since September 2021.
Talking about the befriending programme, Thomas said: “I've enjoyed having conversations with Matthew about topics I don't normally get to talk about.”
“Being on this scheme has allowed me to come out of my shell a little, as well as becoming more comfortable with talking to new people. I would highly recommend the scheme for anyone who might need that little extra help with their social life or to break out of their shell."
Matthew added: “The buddy scheme is fantastic; it enables students to connect with others in order to improve their self-confidence and broaden their perspective on life within and outside of the university experience."
"Through working as a volunteer, I have had the opportunity to work on my interpersonal skills and learn about the challenges others and I myself may face later on in life."
Amy, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies student and Emma have benefitted from the befriending programme in a variety of ways.
Talking about the buddy system, Amy said: “I really enjoy volunteering on the MOVE Project’s buddy scheme, it has improved my work experience and given me confidence to pursue a career in social work once I have completed my degree”.
Emma said: “I really enjoy being on the buddy scheme as I get to meet new people and I like feeling part of the BGU Community, it has boosted my skills and my confidence”.
Lauren West, Careers and Employability Adviser on the MOVE Project at BGU, and coordinator of the befriending programme said:
“The MOVE buddy scheme has been a joy to work on. It is an excellent opportunity to provide students with meaningful opportunities to develop personally and professionally via a funded programme based at BGU, all whilst supporting individuals in the local community. Not only does volunteering look good on individuals CV’s and future job applications, but it also enables individuals to get a better understanding regarding future career goals, broaden their perspective on life, develop new skills and meet new people. I can see improved confidence and wellbeing in both students and individuals on the MOVE Project. All that have been involved have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it has been a great success.”
MOVE at Bishop Grosseteste University is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund and is part of the Greater Lincolnshire MOVE project and is now in its sixth year.
The project is designed for anyone aged 16 and over in the Greater Lincolnshire area eligible to live and work in the UK but currently unemployed or out of paid work. Here at BGU we are offering ongoing 1:1 support to explore career and learning goals and help those struggling to overcome issues that are preventing them from moving forward.
The project is due to end in December 2022.
If you’d like to find out more about how MOVE at BGU could support, you or someone you know:
Are you an employer interested in opportunities to engage with our students and graduates by offering a placement, setting up a focus group, or research project? Please complete a short enquiry form at: https://www.bgu.ac.uk/about-bgu/bg-futures/recruit-student-graduate-talent