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Play School's Floella Benjamin Inspires Students

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Former Play School presenter, Baroness Floella Benjamin, gave an inspiring talk as she shared her experience and passion for childhood with students at the University of Worcester.

Floella, was guest speaker at the University’s Working with Children and Young People conference, when more than 100 students had the opportunity to find out about careers and issues affecting professionals in this field.

Afterwards, Floella said: “What a joy it was speaking at the University of Worcester about kids, the importance of early education, smiling, inspiring and nurturing. It was great to be among so many students and professionals who were so passionate about improving the lives of young children and really making a difference to their futures.”

Floella’s presentation was on the theme of ‘Childhood lasts a lifetime’ in which she shared some of her childhood memories of moving from Trinidad to London, as well as her experience as a children’s presenter to reflect upon the influence of childhood in later life. She said to the group: “You stand for everything I believe. That is everything should be fun, stimulate children, and help them cope with the ever changing world”.

In addition, Karyn McCluskey, Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, also gave a compelling presentation to the conference. She spoke about street violence in Glasgow and the factors impacting on the lives of offenders from birth, to illustrate the cyclical nature of offending behaviours and the need for early intervention.

Panellists included independent consultants and representatives from a range of local and national organisations, including Action for Children, Worcestershire Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, and West Mercia Youth Offending Team.

Rose Watson, Careers and Employability Service Manager at the University, said: “We were delighted to see so many students and practitioners get so involved at this conference. Students and staff alike were able to explore career possibilities with children and young people by learning from employers and graduates.”