After our fantastic presentation at the Merseycare conference, we were invited by Dr Rich Moth, a lecturer in social work, to Liverpool Hope University to deliver a session to a class of first year social work students. The session took place on Thursday 10th December and the aim was to raise awareness of Self Advocacy and how it has impacted on the lives of people with a learning disability.
We did lots of preparation and practise for the session. We were very nervous about presenting to the class but didn’t need to be because we were made to feel very welcome.
Geraldine, Patrick, Lisa, Phil and Alex were the trainers on the day. We asked the students, why they wanted to be social workers, they told us:
- “To help people overcome their problems”
- “To help people achieve their goals”
- “To challenge”
- “To empower”
- “To make a difference”
We told our stories to the students. We have all had very different life experiences and we wanted to share this with the students, we wanted them to understand that we are all different, we all have different wants and needs.
We used 2 scenarios and asked the students what they would do in those situations. After they gave us their feedback we told them that the scenarios were actually based on Lisa and Geraldine’s real lives. The things the students said they would do didn’t happen for us. It made them realise that the decisions social workers make can have a massive impact on the rest of our lives.
We also showed the class our ‘Voices Never Forget’ Choir film and The Road Ahead’s ‘Missing’ film. to show how much people’s lives have changed over the years.
At the end of the session we asked the students what they though about the session, we got back hundreds of comments, here are just a few:
“The session was excellent, you are all very brave sharing your experiences with a group of strangers! Keep u the good work.”
“I want to reinforce how much of an impact your presentation had on me today, I believe service user trainers are an invaluable resource for students and professionals to learn from.”
“The session was an amazing experience and has benefitted me as a social worker, The work and awareness you do is amazing and you should all be proud of what you have achieved.”
“I have worked supporting people since I was 15 and the thing I agree with most is what the lady (Lisa) said at the end, helping people to live independently is a privilege and not just a job.”
“Loved the seminar, it opened my eyes to such important issues in adult services and I will take these lessons into my social work career, person centred approach is a top priority.”
“The training was amazing and life changing. I will always remember the people I met today.”
We are delighted to be going back in January to deliver a session a group of third year social work students.
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