University of Gloucestershire students Celebrate Healthy Lifestyles

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Joining forces with the local community, students at the University of Gloucestershire have been making a change for the better in Cooper’s Edge, near Brockworth, as part of a sports-based project in the local school.

PhASE is a student-led social enterprise run at the University of Gloucestershire aiming to provide sport, physical activity and healthy living opportunities to county communities. As the first cycle of the Cooper’s Edge initiative comes to a close, staff and students are savouring the sweet taste of success.

Currently active in three primary schools in Cheltenham and Gloucester, the Healthy Lifestyles project is going from strength to strength and after submitting their proposal to the Cooper’s Edge Community Trust in a Dragon’s Den format, the students were awarded £3000 worth of funding to run the event at Cooper’s Edge School.

PhASE chair Emma Iles said: “We decided to pitch our Healthy Lifestyles event to the ‘dragons’ so that it could be run at the new school. After a successful pitch we were one of only five projects to be successful and awarded over £3000.”

Catering for up to 30 children a week, the Cooper’s Edge project aims to give children from all backgrounds an opportunity to take part in physical activity and sport as well as learning about healthy eating and arts and crafts.

So far they have completed activities including learning football and volleyball skills, making masks, cards and decorations and making and trying healthy foods such as salads, smoothies and couscous.

Joanne Vickers, Chair of the Cooper’s Edge Community Trust said: “We are delighted with the work that the PHASE students have done, their presentation to the dragons was very impressive and their Healthy Lifestyles Club is one of the most popular after school activities.”

Other events run by PhASE include a Cheltenham Town Football Tournament and Riding for the Disabled projects.

Emma added: “PhASE not only empowers its own student members but also provides placement opportunities for other students studying at the university. Each placement student works towards module credits in their respective field and as a social enterprise we therefore aim to provide opportunities and invaluable experience to fellow students within the university. The project is proving to be a great success and has a long waiting list. With the funding available and the new school building in progress PhASE will be providing the club again next year.”

Phil Shirfield, Senior Lecturer in Sports Development, said: “We’re really delighted with the partnership that PhASE have been able to develop with Coopers Edge and we’re very grateful for the trust that the community has shown in PhASE. It’s a fantastic learning opportunity for the students in the enterprise, and the feedback suggests that both the students and the community value the scheme, and are keen to see it continue. Hopefully we will see it grow and offer more and more opportunities that benefit all of the partners involved.”

To find out more about PhASE projects visit

Source: University of Gloucestershire

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