Confident Futures Summer School 2018

Monday 3 September 2018

The Confident Futures Summer School marks the end of the Confident Futures Project which runs throughout the year for young people aged 14-19 who are in care or have experience of being looked after. The Summer School is a free two-day residential which ran from the 10th-11th July this year, hosted by Cardiff University at their halls of residence. This year, the Summer School team welcomed 35 participants who stayed together in flats along with their Student Ambassadors. The young people then take part in academic and social sessions across the two days, as well as having to manage money allocated them for meals for the duration of their stay.

The residential began with a welcome talk, followed by a budgeting session to help the participants spend their allocated budget wisely. This session was followed by the first academic session: Computer Game Design. We headed over to our colleagues in Cardiff Metropolitan, where participants had the opportunity to create their own sprite and use JavaScript to put them into a game. It was then time to go to Albany Road to buy ingredients for the evening meal and breakfast the next day. The canniest flats pooled money to cook a meal together, resulting in some very impressive homemade pizzas in one instance! After dinner, the attendees had the chance to relax with sports, games and the Wii on offer, as well as a drop in session from mental health Charity ‘Heads above the Waves (http://hatw.co.uk/) who specialise in raising awareness about depression and self-harm in young people.

Day two began with a homemade breakfast to set everyone up for one of two trips taking a step back in time: half of the group went with the CAER Heritage Project to Caerau to look around the Iron Age Hill Fort they are excavating, and the other half went for a trip to St Ffagans to see what the hillfort would have looked like. After a morning of sun and historical-based fun, we all went to town to buy a quick lunch before the Pharmacy academic workshop. The Pharmacy session consisted of three rotations: one about the Pharmabees Project, one about Neuroscience and one about the science behind cancer research.

The Summer School was rounded off with a graduation for the attendees where they were presented with certificates in front of family and friends, and even had the opportunity to try on a cap and gown!