For the last three years we have hosted students from the University of Birmingham, on a placement as part of their studies. This is a formal process involving an application and interview, a great experience for the students themselves. Each year we have appointed an Education Assistant and a Museum Assistant and this year Jen and Bethany were involved in a wide range of projects and tasks. Over the course of 3 months, this included conducting tours for school children, curating an online exhibition about Selly Manor, planning a murder mystery event for young people, helping to care for the museum collection, preparing and helping to deliver our events and much more. As you can imagine this involved a substantial amount of training and supervising from the Selly Manor team themselves too.
The benefits to the student are numerous from increasing confidence and experience to developing their skills and knowledge. It makes a real difference to Selly Manor too - with the students bringing an enthusiasm and energy to what they do. For instance, Jen has worked on developing an event specifically for young people. Our Murder at the Manor event takes place on 27th Match, it is written, directed and cast by students and is already sold out. Bethany spent many weeks carefully developing her skills and knowledge in order to guide children at the museum site. Her attention to detail meant she was able to capture the children's attention and give them an inspiring experience. The success of the relationships we build is shown by the fact that Jen and Bethany have continued to volunteer with us since their placements.
So we were absolutely delighted to the awarded the University of Birmingham’s Placement Host of the Year 2020. Dozens of other organisations from across the West Midlands offer placements so we feel privileged that our hard work and careful nurturing of our student’s talents was recognised. We are already preparing for two further placement opportunities for later this year and hope we continue our success.