A NATIONAL partnership based at the University of Essex has won a national award for its efforts in helping university applicants through the UCAS process during Covid.

Make Happen, which brings together staff from schools, colleges, and universities, offers help and advice to young adults looking go on to further education and the world of work.

At the Levelling Up Universities Awards, Make Happen received recognition for its efforts in boosting opportunities for young people by helping them apply for university and college, despite the cancellation of college visits and university open days.

Make Happen’s efforts are just a small part of the Levelling Up goals which were launched earlier this year by Justine Greening, co-founder of the Social Mobility Pledge.

Stephen Pomfret, head of Make Happen, said: “We’re dedicated to unlocking opportunities for young people across Essex by helping them make informed choices about their education and future.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, this past year we’ve continued to help students find out more about applying through UCAS and reach their aspirations, through a varied programme of online webinars and support.”

Ms Greening, who served as a Conservative MP for 14 years, said: “It was great to see so many inspirational universities and leaders in the sector being celebrated at Levelling Up Universities Awards.”

Make Happen has a particular focus on helping young people from backgrounds where participation in higher education is lower than the national average, with the initiative having reached more than 75,000 students across Essex by 2020.