Third Service Learning Trip Brings Students to York, UK
Nine Morningsiders visited the University of York in July for a Service Learning programme hosted by the university’s Centre for Global Programmes. The students were initially curious about the kinds of social needs and disadvantaged groups they would be meeting in the English countryside. They were aptly guided by class tutor Carsten Cole and university lecturers in learning about the UK’s socio-economic inequality, the effects of fiscal austerity and an underfunded public sector, and the ways that NGOs and social enterprises have adapted to support needy populations affected by the country’s economic and institutional struggles.
Three class sessions were with NGOs that supported refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in securing domicile and livelihoods in Yorkshire. Whereas City of Sanctuary York and Refugee Action York (RAY) worked with all of the above, Time to Be Out worked specifically with LGBT refugees. On a daytrip to Leeds, students visited three organizations: i) Seagulls, a social enterprise that recycles paint while employing disadvantaged job-seekers such as ex-convicts, ii) SLATE Feel Good Café, which employs staff with learning disabilities, and iii) Revive, a social enterprise that recycles and resells household goods. Students met with the NGO Menfulness, which works to change men’s emotional reticence through group activities and excursions coupled with mental health education and a supportive environment. Students visited SPACE, an incubator and co-working venue for social enterprises. The latter half of the programme had sessions with The Collective Sharehouse and the York Foodbank. The students also visited the Brunswick Organic Nursery, a social enterprise where staff with learning disabilities rear plants, make handicrafts, or work in the administrative and finance offices of the nursery.
(Note: The social enterprise idea poster and the summative poster in the pictures below are the work of students Yip Nga Man and Yim Ki Nok respectively)