Go Higher West Yorkshire @ the South Kirkby & Moorthorpe Town Council Festival

Name: Tom Senior

Role: Higher Education Progression Outreach Officer

Institution: Leeds Beckett University

I met my colleague Jayne Kaye at South Elmsall train station, Saturday morning (21/07/18) – fully laden with resources and equipment – for our time at the festival in South Kirkby.

When we had eventually found the site and set up, I went on a, highly important, reconnaissance mission – to find real coffee! Then we were truly ready for a day of outreach work in one of our target communities.

Initially, despite us having a beautifully arranged stall (all Jayne’s work) – ‘Connect 4’ and ‘Jenga’ out and ready to play with – it seemed that nobody wanted to stop and talk about the possibilities of Higher Education.

Thankfully, a few familiar faces arrived. And not just any faces. These belonged to the mayor of South Kirkby, Denise Faulkner and Councillor Lynne Whitehouse. We had an engrossing conversation about the benefits of Higher Education to young people and the importance of outreach work in their community. Lynne mentioned her son, Josh who had been to university in Leeds and had an amazing time before finding work as a Youth & Community Project Officer with an organisation called Newground (see link below for more info).

Not long after we met Tracey. She was handing out leaflets about rugby training sessions for children that her son Danny is providing to the local community. We discovered that Danny is studying on the BA: Physical Education at Leeds Beckett University. This conversation led on to the possibility of Danny becoming a part of Leeds Beckett Universities Student Ambassador Programme.

(Tracey Jordan, mum of Danny)

Soon after, we spoke with the older sister of Millie, one of our #Classof2024 Summer School Residential Students, who had been with us Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday – and according to her sister, had the most amazing, inspiring experience during her time on the residential.


Next, Miss Shephard – of Flanshaw Primary School, Wakefield – and her mum, joined us.  Miss Shephard enquired about the possibility of some future collaborative work, to inform and educate her year 2 class about Higher Education. Her mum explained to us how important it was that her daughter had received the best possible education, which had led on to her becoming a teacher. She also emphasised how vital and necessary outreach work is in their community.

(Tom and Miss Shephard) With our contact details exchanged, Miss Shephard and her mum departed and Denise, now with her son, Josh who she had mentioned earlier, joined us. Josh has a great understanding of, and rapport with, the local community due to his work for Newground. It was fascinating discussing the area and people with him and we are going to work together in the future in order to develop and strengthen our links with the community.