The Building of IU Hammersmith

by Ben Spencer

Ben Spencer, Education Worker at IU Hammersmith, talks about the development of the centre and the importance of IU's work with young people.

It’s been a long journey from when construction work first began at our new centre in Hammersmith towards the end of 2011. With much hard work and focus from volunteers, colleagues, students and supporters, the centre was launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury in March this year with an incredible turn-out from students and guests.

It seems a parallel can be drawn between the construction of our Hammersmith centre and the way in which we support the development of our students. I believe that far from dismissing the builders we are actually exchanging one sort for another. Our predecessors started with a plan that included every detail. From lighting switch to skirting board, they knew what was needed when and where to get the centre built, ready and safe for us to learn and respect one another. IntoUniversity too has a plan to try and build exciting futures for children and young people. Those who find themselves subject to some form of social exclusion through no fault of their own deserve a quality pastoral support service to ensure every chance at success. We recognise that each student has their own plan and each part of the plan requires a different set of tools to get the best results.

We can already begin to see the progress as our students rise to new heights. Imagine our delight when one of our secondary students came in beaming as she told us that since visiting our centre twice a week for just one month, she has managed to climb a level in her English studies. We admire her achievement and look forward to sharing more over the next seven years of her education. We are also proud to be at the centre of the local community. The Primary Academic Support students recently practiced some of their literacy skills by writing letters to their Local Councillor with advice on how to improve the local area around the centre. The councillor was as delighted to receive these letters when she came along to our launch as the pupils were to see their hard work being taken seriously.

The builders of our centre stopped when they reached the roof. We have picked up where they left off, and continue to support our students to build brighter futures for themselves.

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