Issue date: 09 June 2004

ISSUE DATE: 09/06/04

The University of the West of England has stepped in as lead sponsor of this years St Paul’s Carnival.

UWE’s Vice-Chancellor, Alfred Morris, CBE, said “This sponsorship is further confirmation of UWE’s commitment to and involvement with Bristol’s inner city communities. The promotion of racial equality and widening access to higher education is central to UWE’s mission. This sponsorship follows a strong association leading to the launch of the City Academy in St George and a very successful student mentoring scheme that included Fairfield School and the City Academy amongst others.”

Malcolm Haynes, St Paul’s Carnival site organiser said, “It’s great that UWE has decided to get involved this year. UWE has supported the Carnival in the past and it is good to know that our relationship has grown to this level. We hope to nurture this relationship so it will grow from strength to strength, who knows what the future will bring.

It is wonderful to be supported by the UWE we feel this is such a positive step for the Carnival. Last year our core funders Bristol City council and the Arts Council of England supported the Carnival to extend its Education Programme. We are looking to raise the profile of the Carnival as a resource in the community and provide accredited training courses.

St Paul’s Carnival welcome our partnership with UWE and hope that it encourages and insures that more young people from the community will undertake further and higher education.

UWE will contribute £8,000 and play an active role in the carnival fun by providing transport on the distinctive UWE buses, selling carnival T shirts and helping set up. “Of course – it’s not just about money,” said Keith Hicks, UWE’s Head of Communications, “We want to get involved to create something more long lasting. UWE’s staff and UWE’s Student Union are volunteering to help in a whole range of activities from being there on the day to helping design the festival website. We also aim to give far more help in kind to the St Paul’s community by integrating academic programmes into events in a way that will benefit pupils in schools and the community.”

Links are already established in areas like community IT support and teacher training but these are envisaged to expand. Future support mooted includes involving Education and Art, Media and Design students with pupils involved in float decoration and carnival costume design.

UWE is already has the largest intake of students in the South-West from under-represented groups in higher education, with some 1,900 students from non-white backgrounds. However it is very keen to encourage more enrolments from inner city communities especially those who come from families with no history of Higher Education experience.

Sherrie Eugene, local TV personality, is a festival stalwart who currently sits on UWE’s board of governors. Sherrie said, “I am so pleased that UWE has decided to support this fantastic community event. It is one that I hold close to my heart and I know that people living in St Paul’s will be thrilled that the local university has decided to link up and help the carnival become even better.”

On the day UWE will join in the fun with over 50 students and staff who will help on the buses and in the children’s area in Portland Square. Visit the bus and you may be rewarded with a souvenir UWE Festival whistle!

St Paul Carnival is on Saturday 3 July 2004.

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