This is a massive achievement for me. While studying for my MA, I worked part-time for a charity under the NHS Health Team for complaints (a job I was able to get through a contact I made on my first practice placement) and it was difficult to balance everything – being completely self-funded meant that there was a lot less time for sleep! But having so much to do meant I’ve built so much resilience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
I moved out of my family home in London when I was 16, and started living independently. I initially worked in administration roles, but there was always something in the back of my mind that was curious about social care and empowering other people that need that extra support.
I decided to study a Psychosocial Studies undergraduate degree at the University of East London, and from then I knew that this was my path. I wanted a career that would open doors for me and allow me to be part of a professional association, and so I decided to specialise in Social Work.
Studying has meant I’ve learned so much about who I am, about my strengths and weaknesses - it taught me to turn up and take responsibility for myself and my future. Looking back at what I’ve achieved, I now want to transfer my skills and abilities to new projects and opportunities.
My dissertation looked at how cultural competencies impact the professional practice of social work, and I ran a focus group that revealed significant challenges for student social workers around ethnicity and diversity. I’m now working with Christ Church to take my recommendations from this research into practice.
I’m also currently volunteering for the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) with the Policy, Ethics and Human Rights Committee, supporting members to ensure practice is based on the BASW Code of Ethics and is underpinned by a human rights based approach to social work.