Love your Family, Love London Met

Annual Family Day invites London Met’s students to bring their children onto campus for to show them what university life is all about.

Date: 26 February 2019

London Metropolitan University hosted its annual ‘Love Your Family, Love London Met’ day on Tuesday 19 February.

Inspired by research conducted by Patrick Mulrenan, a housing expert at London Met, the day invited students, staff and alumni of the University to bring their children onto campus for one day to see what university life is all about.

Patrick’s research found that homelessness is a “hidden problem” among students in London. Shockingly, the interviews revealed that students facing housing problems were mostly too embarrassed to seek help. In some cases, students wanted help but didn’t know who to ask in their university. The research gained widespread exposure in London and called for universities to take more action with providing housing help and support for their students.

“One of the most heartbreaking findings of the study was just how common this is and yet no one seems to know about it,” Patrick commented.

“It is a huge honour and privilege to be able to allow our students to bring their children. Hopefully, this will inspire the children to apply to university when they are old enough and make a difference in their lives.

“Most of London Met’s students are the first in their family to go to university and it is so rewarding to see our students change their lives for the better. To be able to offer them the chance to inspire their children is so humbling for me and I am really proud to work on projects such as Love Your Family Love London Met.”

Many activities were on offer for the children throughout the day including a magic show with Mr Giggles and a theatre performance workshop. There were also tours of the university library and an environmental tour of the campus on offer to show students and their children around the campus and give an insight into what daily life as a student at a university could look like.

The young people could also took part in a mini graduation ceremony where they were kitted out with graduation ceremonial robes, provided by Ede and Ravenscroft. The budding young academics were given their own certificate and posed for the camera and they got to keep their graduation photo.

Dexandra and Tianna Bennett, aged 15 and 8 respectively, came to the Family Day with their mum, Natoyia Dunstan, who studies Mathematics Extended Degree BSc at London Met.

Tianna said: “The event is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed playing the name game where we had to throw a ball to each other and learn names really quickly. And I also enjoyed getting my photo taken in the graduation cap and gown.”

Dexandra added: “I've enjoyed coming here today. I knew mum went off to university and works hard but I didn't know what that actually means. We're going to a theatre class and a library tour this afternoon and I'm looking forward to it.”

Many thanks to Kelly Cooper, Head of the School of Social Professions, and Patrick Mulrenan, course leader for Community Development and Leadership BSc, for organising the day-long event.