Students have hit the streets in a Leicester community, finding new ways for De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to benefit others.
Interviews: Resident Susan Jordan chats to Noora Abdi, second year Youth Work and Community student
As part of an ongoing consultation, residents in Thurnby Lodge have shared their ideas for community projects that can benefit the area using the skills and expertise of DMU students volunteering through #DMUlocal.
Ideas for more youth activities have been high on the list, while potential projects around litter picking and cleaning up the area have also been popular.
Jenny Owen, 52, owner of local café Ace Place, said: “I’ve watched a lot of my customers grow up and have kids of their own and there isn’t much for them to do.
“There’s definitely a place for the university students to have a positive impact in Thurnby Lodge and it might help some of the kids even think about going to university. It might give them aspirations where before they had none.”
The students leading the consultation, all of whom volunteer with #DMUlocal, have already spoken to dozens of residents and are set to speak to more over the coming weeks.
Debbie Mohomed, 40, a second year Youth Work and Community Development student, volunteered and said: “We’ve been down here for the last couple of days gathering the views and opinions of the public on how DMU students can create a better environment in Thurnby Lodge.
“There’s been a great reactions and everyone’s been really friendly and said hello to us. We’ve actually made a friend at the local café where we go in for a cup of tea when we need a break.”
Alongside creating new projects, #DMUlocal volunteers are primed to support existing community initiatives in the area to grow by working alongside community leaders.
Councillor Teresa Aldred, of Thurncourt Ward, said: “This is a very close knit community and I feel we need more for the kids. Children believe there is not a lot for them to do but having DMU on board will be a great asset to them and the community.”
New mum and resident Charlotte Wheeler-Sutton, 23, said: “I like to be honest about this area and the estate’s going down. It needs to go up again. Anything from the university that can keep everyone active and coming together and bonding would be a great help.”
#DMUlocal has more than 125 community projects taking place in Leicester, helping to have a positive impact on education, health and regeneration.
Recent projects in other areas of the city include supporting a youth club in Beaumont Leys, providing free after-school clubs to teach coding and cleaning up parks and green spaces.