Young people from across the city who take part in Sheffield Children’s University (CU) attended a special graduation event at Sheffield City Hall to celebrate completing 1,000 hours of extra-curricular learning activities.
Fifteen Sheffield CU pupils, who have all received the CU’s highest award, the Gold Fellowship, for 1000 hours of participation, were presented with a special certificate in front of family and friends in a university-style graduation ceremony.
Awardees followed in the footsteps of more than 7000 Sheffield Hallam University students who have celebrated graduation at the venue over the last two weeks.
Following the awards ceremony, pupils went backstage for a tour of the gowning and photography area, led by Ede & Ravenscroft – one of the oldest tailoring firms in the world. They then had some official photographs taken, wearing graduation caps and gowns.
Professor Sam Twiselton OBE, Director of the Sheffield Hallam’s Institute of Education, said: “It was a real pleasure and a privilege to present these special awards. Completing 1,000 hours of out-of-school learning activities and achieving the Gold Fellowship Award is a phenomenal achievement and a real testament to what young people can do when they have access to the right support and opportunities.”
Helen Oades, senior projects officer at Sheffield Children’s University, said: “We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Sheffield Hallam once again to be able to offer such a fantastic experience, recognising their achievements and their commitment to learning in their own time. It’s wonderful that the children, young people and their families get to see ‘behind the scenes’ of a university graduation and maybe this experience and their involvement in CU has inspired them to continue on a journey of lifelong learning.”
Sheffield Children’s University, led by Katie Hamshaw and Helen Oades, is the largest in the country, with over 45,000 members, who have collectively taken part in more than 3 million hours to learning activities outside of school hours.
With support from Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, the successful Sheffield CU model is now being expanded across South Yorkshire.