NOTE: This content is old - Published: Saturday, Jul 22nd, 2017.
Wales’ Cabinet Secretary for Education has paid tribute to Wrexham Glyndwr University for its community work as the institution reinforced its partnership with a local voluntary pioneer.
In a Wales’ first, according to Minister Kirsty Williams, the University and AVOW (Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Catrin Finch Centre yesterday.
Mrs Williams praised the feeling of citizenship and community both parties want to instil in students, staff and the town, and said Wrexham Glyndwr is already in a positive position to capitalise on goodwill.
“We are a proud nation of strong caring communities and I wish the University and AVOW well with this partnership,” she said.
“You will both be seeking opportunities for academic collaboration, external funding and support for community outreach, engagement with schools and volunteer opportunities for students and staff, so I congratulate you on your ambition and wish you well with these endeavours.”
Mrs Williams added: “Wrexham Glyndwr was quick to demonstrate what is already being done in these areas and what it is prepared to do for that sense of civic mission – I am so grateful for that.”
AVOW chair John Leece Jones reflected on what is already a burgeoning relationship with the University, and was proud to confirm the agreement.
“The signing of this MOU formalises the excellent working relationship that has existed for many years between the University and the third sector in Wrexham,” he said.
“AVOW is delighted to be involved with many individual departments at Wrexham Glyndwr and happy to assist by offering placements to students to further their studies in practical areas.
“We are pleased to be fortunate enough to employ their graduates and putting our relationship on a formal basis will further develop our collaboration for the benefit of Wrexham.”
Mr Leece Jones pointed to the successful new Dragontale project as an example of an initiative between the two which is already in full flow.
The £500,000 National Lottery-funded project sees recovering drug and alcohol users bid to capture the single biggest collection of stories of people’s lives in North Wales through radio, using a purpose-built purple van kitted out with professional broadcasting equipment.
Celebrating the signing, Vice-Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar vowed to continue bringing the University and the region together through industry, academia and its focus on care and support.
“This MOU celebrates what we do and how we plan to do it in the years to come,” said Professor Hinfelaar.
“One of the things AVOW and the University have spoken about is making sure we continue the flow of students on placements with member organisations and structure it better, so we do not miss one opportunity.
“It’s a win-win situation, the student picks up valuable learning and the host clearly benefits.”
She added: “We also want to encourage volunteering outside of the curriculum, to instil a certain attitude of citizenship to encourage students and staff to go out and get involved, that’s what it’s all about.”
For more on support and student services at Wrexham Glyndwr University, visit the University’s website or visit the open day On August 19 from 10am-2pm.