November 2015

UCB students attend EU Gangs project in Italy

Read time: approx 1 mins

Degree student Dawn Dance studying Youth Community and Families at UCB and James Doyle, who along with Dawn also completed a Training the Trainer course in November 2014, have just returned from Italy having completed a 5 day mobility project working on a range of projects including with migrant minors at a residential centre in Modena.

The mobility project is an extension of the EUGangs project which includes seven EU partners (3 from the West Midlands including UCB, and one each from Italy, Romania, Greece and Cyprus).  The Italian partner in the EU Gangs project is CEIS (Cooperative Sociale CEIS Formazione) which is involved in many community-based projects including; running a youth and community centre with an alcohol-free café, residential centres for unaccompanied minors, drug rehabilitation projects and educational programmes, all delivered in partnership with the Universities of Bologna and Modena. 

CIES is also delivering a VET (Vocational Educational Training) programme based on the level 3 course Community Safety, Working with Gangs programme that UCB helped to develop (and which is currently being delivered off site at St Georges Community Hub).  Both James and Dawn have helped to deliver on CEIS's VET programme during their visit, with a particular focus on comparative policy-level developments in Britain and in Italy in relation to working with marginalised young people including those in gangs.  Andrea Ascari, CEIS's Director confirmed that the discussions were really valuable and interesting. 

Dawn and James are pictured above with Andrea Ascari CEIS's Director. Both students had an amazing time.

"It was so interesting, I feel privileged to be able to share my knowledge with a professional who listened intently to our suggestions and really involved us in all discussions and activities. We went as students but the Italians said we were Educators."


"putting theory into practice is so important if we are to be able to make a difference in the future. The opportunity to meet other EU partners and listen to their experiences and projects has been a great experience, I've had a fantastic time"


Both James and Dawn are also part of UCB's Community of Practice (Working with Gangs), which involves trained trainers from UCB and Walsall College, and which meets periodically to focus on issues of youth violence and marginalisation (including young people in gangs). They have also been involved in organising a series of seminars ('Choice' and 'Radicalisation: Fallacy or Reality') and most recently, a full day conference last week on 'Responding to Youth Violence'.  On their return, James and Dawn will provide feedback on their visit to the other members of the Community of Practice, some of whom also hope to follow their footsteps and visit and deliver for CEIS in Modena later next year.

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