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Queen's University Belfast launches new social charter initiative

Queen's University Social Charter

UNIVERSITY students are to support children living in inner-city Belfast with their homework as part of a new initiative.

Queen's University Belfast has become one of the first institutions in the UK and Ireland to launch a `social charter', reflecting its local and global impact.

It will involve 19 signature projects which span the university and reflect the extent of its research and activity.

These include cancer research, ground-breaking research in children's healthcare, developing future leaders and students helping in homework clubs.

Last year, 17 such clubs across Belfast were supported by about 160 volunteers.

The peer-mentor approach, Queen's said, created a safe and enjoyable environment where all children can access free study help in core curriculum areas in addition to personal development and recreational activities.

Another project, the Pathway Opportunity Programme, provides a route for talented young people who have the ability to study at Queen's but may require additional support.

Those who successfully complete the programme will benefit from receiving a reduced admissions offer for a degree, which may be up to two A-level grades lower than the standard offer.

Another, the Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy is a research centre designed to bridges the gap between industry research needs and academic research.

And, the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation Zones, works with communities and the professional organisations that support them.

Dr Jackie Redpath, Chief Executive of the Greater Shankill Partnership, said Queen's was working with his group to examine and evaluate its work but also to provide guidance.

"We are absolutely delighted we are on this journey with Queen's University - the Shankill and Queen's walking together in a programme of transformation for children and young people."

Professor James McElnay, acting president and vice-chancellor, said the charter "could be described as a social contract".

"The social charter underlines our commitment to having a positive impact on both our people and our place," he said.

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