BY KYLIE NOBLE Throughout the year, many Student Union backed campaigns have been the focus of much publication and thus debate within the student body.
‘Are Ye Well?’ and QUB Apprentice are two relatively recent campaigns that have been pushed strongly to students. However, how many students would know of the dedication of almost 80 Queen’s students who give of their free time to tutor children in deprived areas of Belfast such as Sandy Row?
Aidan Hughes, VP Community stated that he believes the biggest concern should not be the promotion of the scheme, but rather that the scheme is fit for purpose and making a real difference to the children’s education.
“The most important thing is to ensure that the homework clubs are established and are fit for purpose; in that the students feel comfortable and that the children and their parents are getting what they need out of it.”
He did however accept to some degree, that the Homework Club scheme is considerably less promoted than other union run initiatives.
“The reason why you might hear slightly more about the ‘Are Ye Well?’ campaign and the QUB Apprentice are because they are campaigns aimed at engaging students and raising awareness around key issues such as our Enterprise and student support facilities. The main time we promote our ‘Homework Clubs,’ a scheme which I have piloted now for just over a year, is when we are recruiting students.”
He also added that now the scheme has been successfully running for over a year, he has secured funding to create a promotional video of the inspiring work of QUB students in tutoring young people.
Donna Mc Cullagh, 19 and a first year undergraduate student is enthused by her placement.
“I decided to get involved because I am considering becoming a teacher after my degree and its really good work experience. I am placed in a centre in Sandy Row.”
She assists with a wide range of subjects and particularly enjoys helping with art.
“I do two hours every other Wednesday and I tutor pretty much any subject. I try to help with anything, but I particularly enjoy helping with art. They have the funniest wee activities to do for art and its really enjoyable using hands to be creative and make something.”
Donna feels that she is really helping the children and that they are thriving on the extra attention.
“The kids are all really nice, they try and pretend that they don’t have any homework so that they don’t have to do work but if you sit down with them and make them do their homework, they seem to really enjoy the one on one attention and get a lot from it.”