Rebecca Owen – Health and Social Care

Health and Social Care graduate, Rachel has gone on to a rewarding job as a Deputy Manager at Aspiris.

What do you find most fulfilling about your role? 

I have been working in residential childcare management for almost a year. It can be extremely challenging but also rewarding. Having children come into your care from a background of abuse or neglect can be emotionally difficult, but the staff team work together to provide positive fulfilling moments and nurture.

It’s these moments and seeing the difference you make to these young people life’s that enable you to come to work every day.

It’s these moments and seeing the difference you make to these young people life’s that enable you to come to work every day.

Rebecca owen

What are some of the challenges that you face day-to-day in this sector? 

COVID has caused further pressure on an already stretched sector. Young people have not been able to access support or help. This has had a detrimental impact on their well-being. These young people already face huge challenges in their lives by being in care, COVID has definitely added to that.

How has your time on the Health and Social Care degree helped prepare you for your new role? (this might be careers advice, interview tips, placements, simulation experiences etc.) 

Confidence.  Doing presentations has allowed me to find my voice and have the confidence to speak up. This has allowed me to advocate for Young people, in multidisciplinary meetings.

Where do you hope this job will take you career-wise? 

I’m currently working towards being a registered manager.

As someone who is now working, what advice would you have for HSC graduates venturing into the workplace?

I started my current position as Deputy Manager with only childcare experience, not residential care. I researched the legislation and policies. I also built a network of people who work in the sector, which was very useful with interview tips and advice.

I treated my research like a uni essay, so the information gained was retained to memory. I also did voluntary work within the community, became a student mentor and course representative. This improved my skillset further and allowed my confidence within my own abilities to grow.

I would definitely advise anyone leaving uni to do the same. Build a network of people, research the skills, legislation and policies. Improve your skillset, beyond academic skills and really drive for what you want.

Tamara Booth – Health and Social Care

Health and Social Care graduate, Tamara is currently working as a Social Group Coordinator/Manager at Sense.

Tamara Booth
Tamara Booth – Health and Social Care

I secured a position as a group management coordinator, for a charity called Sense after I completed my Health and Social Care degree at Staffordshire University. 

My role is to work very closely alongside other agencies, such as the local authority, social services, and schools where we develop and design comprehensive short break packages for children with additional needs or disabilities.  

Day to day challenges can be things such as securing funding for the children and their families we support. Due to Covid this has caused a huge impact to the funding that’s available.     

Also, I now manage a team of around 25 staff, which comes with its own set of challenges!  

The work we do makes a huge difference to the families and children we support who are often stigmatised and marginalised by society.  

The work I do is exceptionally fulfilling, knowing I have made a difference to one family or child, helping them gain the support they desperately need is a wonderful feeling. 

Throughout my time at university, the modules we covered such as leadership and management, counselling, and communication skills helped prepare my for my role. These modules gave me a comprehensive insight into the rapidly expanding and ever changing environment that is Health and Social Care.   

Any advice I would give to any students studying Health and Social Care would be: gain as much experience in as many different sectors as you can. Your degree is extremely vast, and covers many different sectors, so do not limit yourself.

Tamara booth

Any advice I would give to any students studying Health and Social Care would be: gain as much experience in as many different sectors as you can. Your degree is extremely vast, and covers many different sectors, so do not limit yourself. I never envisaged myself working within the charity sector, I originally wanted to work with offenders. However, when we did our work experience module I worked with children with additional needs and found I gained a real sense of achievement and felt like I made a positive difference.   

The confidence and knowledge I gained at university wouldn’t of been possible without the support and encouragement that I received from my tutors, namely Ana and Matt, who never wavered in their support of me, which I will be forever grateful. 

Activism through lived experience; A ground breaking new anti-poverty degree from Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University is a Civic University and this new degree is an exciting new way to join us, learn and study with us tackling poverty head on from the start!

Poverty has risen statistically and in the public’s awareness. Recent public campaigns from Marcus Rashford focussing on food poverty have raised awareness, as have research around the disproportionate effect that Covid has had on lower income populations. We can talk about food poverty, fuel poverty or data poverty but lets be clear – poverty is poverty. We can call it by another name but living in poverty is about poorer health outcomes, poorer educational opportunities and most fundamentally its about poorer opportunities to speak out, to be heard and to be listened to.

This new degree came from the idea of finding what Ruth Lister describes as voice – space for people with lived experience of poverty. The term lived experience is a spiky one and can critiqued as tokenism – another buzz word, its not. At is core, the term lived experience is actually about voice and recognising knowledge and expertise comes in valuable lived forms. Academic knowledge is only one form of knowing; emotional, experiential and practical knowing is a valuable form of expertise. It is time that academic institutions recognise knowledge in all its forms, Staffordshire University is seeking to just this in its new degree; Action on Poverty and Hardship.

The idea behind the degree is that its co-produced with local and national partners, that it is framed around valuing the knowledge gained by lived experience of poverty and in its practical activism it seeks to challenge epistemic injustice.

In centring this new degree around practical activism with voluntary and community sector partners, in holding at its core the knowledge held in lived experience this new degree seeks to be something a bit special, a unique combination of activism and knowledge sharing, learning and teaching in collaboration with students in anti-poverty projects.

Students that join us will be supported and nurtured to engage in local change making, learning in partnership with voluntary sector organisations. Students will have the opportunity to undertake practical work based learning challenges, reflect in portfolios on their trauma informed anti-oppressive practice and learn about poverty from a mixture of experts by experience and academic activists

Our vision is that these students will shape the course alongside our voluntary sector steering group made up of; leading research institutions, high profile think tanks and local anchor institutions in Stoke on Trent. Graduates of this course will start their journey as anti-poverty activists, taking on leadership roles within the voluntary sector and ultimately shape both local and national anti-poverty agendas.

Dr Katy Goldstraw BA (Hons) MSc Phd pgchpe FHEA FRSA, Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care

Profile: Hannah Barcroft (Health and Social Care)

Hannah Barcroft

Health and Social Care graduate, Hannah talks about her student and university experience, her valuable work experience in a local care home and why health and social care is so important to society.

What inspired you to choose a degree in Health and Social Care?

I already studied the course at my local college and I wanted to continue to study this at university as the more knowledge and skills that I had, the more that I could apply these within the workplace. Another thing that inspired me was the content of the course. In the third year I saw that I could study a topic of my choice which I was looking forward to as I always wanted to do my own research in a topic that was close to my heart.

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