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Middlesex working with local community to improve life in Barnet

University students and staff improving lives of local residents in care homes and schools with several new schemes in 2017

Chinese students teaching calligraphy to lady at Clore Manor care homeVisiting students teaching calligraphy to a lady at Clore Manor care home

Students and staff from Middlesex University have been working hard to enrich the lives of Barnet residents with a number of recent community projects across the borough.

A group of students from China who are currently visiting Middlesex from City University of Hong Kong visited Jewish care homes, a community centre and a primary school on 22 June to lead activities such as painting and singing.

Helen Midhage, Middlesex University London’s coordinator of the visits says it was a great success.

“The residents received the students enthusiastically and our students enjoy visiting these centres. They can go home stating they have experienced assisting and entertaining in community centres, care homes and primary schools.”

The students prepared Chinese and English ‘golden oldies’ to sing, led activities such as painting Chinese calligraphy and served tea and cakes.

The students also spent an afternoon at a local primary school entertaining the pupils with Chinese games, arts and crafts.

A second group of around 40 Chinese students will also be visiting the care homes on 27 July.

As part of another new initiative a group of second year TV production students from Middlesex were presented with the Outside Organisation Group Award at the Jewish Care Awards on 28 June.

The six students volunteered at Jewish Care to create a film about the importance of leaving gifts in wills. Television production student April Ha found the project very rewarding.

“My team and I didn’t have a great knowledge of Jewish culture and we are from different countries including the UK, USA, Romania and Russia,” she says.

“We learnt a lot about the community and really enjoyed working with everybody. The staff, volunteers and members made us feel so comfortable and welcome.”

Tom McGorrian, Senior Lecturer in TV Production at Middlesex University London says the award is well-deserved.

“Over the course of several months the students developed a strong rapport with Jewish Care and this is clearly evident in the video,” he says.

“It has been so well received that other organisations have taken notice and the team are now embarking on a 12-part video blog series celebrating the 100th anniversary of the RAF Museum at Hendon.”

Television production students receiving their award from Jewish CareTelevision production students Gaby Lafor, Tara Shaw and April Ha receiving their award from Jewish Care

Even closer to home, Middlesex’s Sports and Recreation department is giving people supported by learning disability charity Norwood access to free training in the Fitness Pod on campus.

As part of the recent refurbishment of the University’s gym, all the machines are now disability-friendly and Norwood participants are benefiting from free tailored exercise programmes.

Some of the adults with learning disabilities or autism from Norwood have used the gym to train for local, national and international sporting challenges - including the recent Maccabi Fun Run in Hendon.

Danielle Norville, Middlesex University’s Sport Activator, is pleased with the positive feedback from Norwood participants.

“The participants have stated they have improved day-to-day mobility, stability, and mental wellbeing by reducing their anxieties through their interaction in the gym,” she says.

“We hope the positive impact of these sessions will ensure they continue well into the future.”

Find out more about the sports facilities available at Middlesex

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