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All Aboard for SELFA’s trip to York!

During February half term our year 6 Inspire group had an aspirational day trip to York on behalf of Northen Trains and York St John University. The trip allowed the 10/11 year olds to think ahead to their future, get a glimpse of city life and travel via train.

SELFA’s young people meet Whistle the Dog, Northern Trains mascot

Our day began at Skipton station where the youngsters were able to figure out the timetable to ensure we got on the right train to Leeds for a quick changeover to head to York. In Leeds station the group were delighted to be greeted by Whistle The Dog, Northerns Mascot and each get a high 5!! We are very grateful to Northern for their continued support, providing us with complimentary train tickets on many, many occasions since 2020. By doing so, Northern has allowed us to give our children and young people the opportunity to experience new places without the need to worry that the cost the travel is going go over our budget. Taking our groups on Northern routes has also promoted train travel, showing them what’s accessible within our area and given them awareness of railway safety. 

Once in York we had a 15 minute walk to navigate to meet Rachel & Ben (Education Outreach Co-ordinator’s). The young people received a full campus tour which they found pretty impressive, especially the gigantic library, lecture theatres, stationary vending machines and the hospital simulation suites. Our young people showed curiosity and had lots of questions to ask – ‘Do you study and live here?’, ‘Do you have the same lecturer for every lesson’, ‘How many different courses are there?’ . Luckily we had some very helpful Student Ambassadors on hand to provide the answers. After a delicious pizza lunch courtesy of YSJ, the group participated in tasks around budgeting, hopes and dreams which were all relevant and engaging and got them thinking about their future pathways. James shared, ‘I didn’t think university would be something I wanted to do but being here has made me think I could do it. I like the idea of studying engineering by myself and meeting others who want to do the same job as me’.

Samantha Pickard Watkinson, Senior Children & Young People’s Worker at SELFA, said ‘I feel the day was a huge success and allowed space for the group to have beneficial conversations about their ambitions. Even though university may be a while away for these youngsters it was great for them to see what’s on offer and spark their thoughts about what they may want to do, as it always good to have an idea. York St John were so accommodating for our groups needs and we are hugely thankful to them for hosting us’.

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