New people’s university makes its mark in county

A NEW citizens’ university which opened earlier this year is having a real impact in Northumberland.

The U Northumberland, developed by the Young Foundation, has offered interactive, 90-minute first aid sessions with the aim of making communities safer, healthier and happier.

Working closely with housing associations, community partnerships, county and town councils and schools, the sessions have taken volunteers to towns and villages across the county.

So far, The U has trained 150 people in basic first aid and is looking forward to training many more in the coming months.

The U has also been developing a new module, ready for delivery in late January.

This new module, called Give and Take, is a quick, fun, hands-on session developed with Dfuse, a not-for-profit organisation which provides training to help people deal with conflict and confrontation,and will teach some key skills inmanaging life’s little conflicts.

Allan Hepple, director of neighbourhood services at Homes for Northumberland, another housing company working in partnership with The U, said: “Homes for Northumberland was delighted to get involved with The U by delivering their Be A Lifesaver training to 10 young people from Blyth.

“The session included basic first aid skills as well as what to do if participants saw someone having an accident.

“We are dedicated to helping local communities to flourish and these young people have been taught important life skills and invaluable lessons about citizenship, which will be of use both now and in the future.”

Olav Veldhuizen, manager of The U, said: “The response has been really great and The U has benefited from lots of support from community organisations across the region.

“You get a sense that people are keen to get involved in their community, learn new skills and go on to become a host to help pass on the skills they have learned at The U.”