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18 April 2018

Amsterdam trip inspires students

‘Inspirational’ is how Wiltshire College students described a trip to Amsterdam.

The cross campus trip saw full-time and university level Health & Social Care, Early Years and Criminal Justice students visit a euthanasia clinic and a prostitution centre which gave them an insight into two challenging topics.

The Prostitution Information Centre works to educate people about prostitution and inform students about health and legal issues as well as discussing child trafficking and childhood issues.

The students were also introduced to legalised end of life support following a talk from a lawyer who works as a voluntary advocate for a charity which offers information, consultation and education about euthanasia and assisted suicide in the Netherlands.

Health and Social Care lecturer Leah Songhurst said: “I was extremely proud of how our learners tackled tough topics.

“The talk at the prostitution centre was hard hitting but appealed to everyone as it crossed topics.

“At the euthanasia clinic, they learned about all associated issues and for those interested in childhood issues, the legalities for under 18s with a terminal illness wishing to end their life.

“The talk was very sobering and our learners were extremely dignified and asked intelligent questions.”

The 39 students also had the chance to enjoy a day of culture, visiting different museums and a spot of shopping!

Marwa Bakali, aged 19, is studying Level 3 Health & Social Care at the Trowbridge campus.

She said: “It really was such an amazing trip.

“I thought that the euthanasia clinic would be quite a sad and depressing place to be in, but it was the opposite.

“It was very insightful and because it was part of this educational trip, it exposed us to an emotive subject in a different way, which made us all think about things perhaps differently to how we might have done if we hadn’t have been there to see it first-hand.”

The trip was organised through FHT(Further and Higher Education Travel), which organises group trips for schools, colleges and universities and some of the students were able to receive funding support through the Wessex Inspiration Network, which aims to increase awareness of higher education.

Leah Songhurst said: “The students were a credit to the College.

“Many of them had never travelled before or for some it was the first time without their family.

“They were a delight to accompany on the trip and the two visits we did were inspirational.

“Aly and Kate rom FHT need a special mention as they were a fantastic help with organising the trip and the hostel we stayed in was a super, clean and fun place.

“I would also like to thank the College’s project officer Harry Gibb for being able to offer financial support to six of our learners who have since been inspired to go to study at university level.”