Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Daniel Zeichner visits new youth project at ARU

Published: 25 August 2023 at 13:00

Daniel Zeichner MP visits the Trusted Adult Scheme at ARU

Trusted Adult Scheme provides hands-on activities for vulnerable young people

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner has visited Anglia Ruskin University’s new civic initiative – ARU in the Community: A Trusted Adult Scheme (TAS) – which is helping vulnerable young people by providing a range of exciting activities over the summer holidays.

The project is a collaboration between ARU and Cambridgeshire County Council, and brings together a team of youth support workers and children’s services practitioners, academics, and ARU students, along with local children and young people.

The scheme is open to young people aged 14-18 who have the opportunity to produce street art, with workshops run by graffiti artist William "Kilo" Pengelly, and use ARU’s music recording studios, facilitated by lecturer in Audio and Music technology at ARU, Tim Webster. Participants can also play PS5 games and they have access to the ARU gym. Most sessions are led by ARU students, under guidance from qualified youth workers and children’s services practitioners.

While on campus, Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner tried his hand at spray painting, and also joined young people playing virtual reality computer games. He said:

“Cambridge has seen an increase in antisocial behaviour and programmes like these are key to trying to change that.

“ARU in the Community has brought together experts throughout the field to try and combat problems amongst the vulnerable young. I am looking forward to seeing the art that this initiative has provided and supporting the organisers as they try to build on this initiative.’

Daniel Zeichner was joined on the visit by Cllr Alex Bulat, vice-chair of the Communities, Social Mobility and Inclusion Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council. Cllr Bulat said:

“I am delighted the County Council has partnered with Anglia Ruskin University to deliver this project.

“Our officers from the Communities Service provided training and support to students and staff, developing the skills and infrastructure to help get the Trusted Adult Scheme up and running. I have seen the project in action, so I know the opportunities and positive impact it offers to young people across the city.”

Ben Cox, a Research Assistant at ARU, said:

“Our project empowers at-risk youth through mentorship, offering them a safe space to develop life skills, resilience, and positive behaviours. With each connection we foster, we're building a brighter future for these young individuals, their families, and the communities they call home.”

The project has been coordinated and is being overseen by Dr Paul Nelson, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Policing at ARU. Dr Nelson said:

“The Trusted Adult Scheme is making a real difference to a number of young people from across Cambridge this summer.

“The scheme is part of ARU’s civic mission, which is to work closely with our local communities to address societal challenges. Over 25 young people have taken part so far this summer, but this is just the start. We want to build on this so in future we can provide even more opportunities and artistic outlets for local children and young people.

“I’m particularly proud that so many ARU staff and students have been assisting in the scheme. They are learning valuable skills from the youth support workers and children’s services practitioners, and most importantly giving something back to our local community.”

An exhibition of artwork produced by the young people who have taken part in the scheme is expected to go on public display in the Ruskin Gallery later this year.