London SE1 website team

Businesses open doors for learning festival

Businesses, arts and community organisations opened their doors to young people on Monday to offer first hand experience of the wealth of careers and learning available in the capital.

Trevor McDonald
LSBU chancellor Sir Trevor McDonald speaking during the awards ceremony at Vinopolis

Regardless of previous educational achievement, over 500 youngsters aged between 13 and 25 from more than 25 schools, colleges and community organisations in South East London and Tower Hamlets turned up for the Leap Learning Festival, organised by London South Bank University and One London.

The festival offered unique access to leading local employers including the British Airways London Eye, Bankside Restaurant, Tate Modern and Vinopolis.

"The Leap Learning Festival gives young people the opportunity to explore one of the UK's most lively cultural quarters whilst discovering the range of educational opportunities available to them and giving them a pointer to future careers," commented Professor Deian Hopkin, vice chancellor of London South Bank University.

The festival offered fun, interactive workshops including a hospitality and tourism session on the London Eye, an introduction to architecture from Lifschutz Davidson, a business and finance workshop led by Deutsche Bank and on the job experience of being a chef hosted by Bankside Restaurant.

The work of London South Bank University's Widening Participation Unit is supported by dedicated student ambassadors and mentors who work with young people in London's disadvantaged communities. The festival ended with an awards ceremony at Vinopolis to recognise and reward the achievements of these students as well as local corporate volunteers, helping to promote volunteer work in the community.

Deian Hopkin added: "By acknowledging the outstanding work of our student and local corporate volunteers we hope to encourage others to join us in future years. We can show that contributing to the educational development of young people in disadvantaged communities is very rewarding."

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