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USW announces partnership with ground-breaking Newport youth charity

UNIVERSITY of South Wales (USW) has signed a strategic partnership with Urban Circle Newport (UCN), an independent youth arts organisation and registered charity.

Founded in 2006, UCN engages, supports, and empowers young people and communities. Co-founder, Loren Henry, is a USW graduate from both BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work and MA Working with Children and Young People.

In 2020, the collaborative work of UCN and USW was praised by education inspectors Estyn in their report entitled ‘The Value of Youth Work Training, A sustainable model for Wales’. They highlighted the benefits the partnership provides for the charities, their staff, the youngsters it helps, and USW Youth Work students.

Under the categories of participation, inclusion, and development, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will:

  • Support student recruitment and community events
  • Provide guest lecturers for USW programmes
  • Provide student work placement opportunities
  • Develop professional learning opportunities for students, staff, and local schools
  • Provide guidance and support to USW in matters concerning Black History, anti-discrimination resources, materials, and workshops.
  • Collaborate with other community organisations across Newport and the region to support equality and diversity as part of wider civic initiatives.

Peter Landers, Chair of UCN said:

“We are very pleased to be formalising this dynamic and growing relationship. Urban Circle Newport is a specialist organisation delivering special work in an increasingly diverse environment.

“We are delighted to become partners with such an excellent educational organisation as University of South Wales. We look forward to the partnership delivering enhanced outcomes for both organisations”.

Donna Whitehead, USW’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “USW has been collaborating with UCN for some time, but we are privileged to sign this partnership that will enhance our working relationship.

“USW is proud of our organisational relationships, which are at the core of our 2030 strategy, as is developing our presence in Newport and contributing to the economic, social, and cultural well-being of the city and the wider region.”

The MoU was signed at a ceremony held at USW’s Newport campus on Thursday 19 January.

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