My Experience

Student Social Worker Placement 2019

GUIDEPOSTS TRUST UK · THURSDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2019

I began my time with Guideposts in October of 2018 and have been fortunate enough to work alongside both staff, volunteers and service members during my time here. I feel that all of the work I have done has helped me develop my understanding of the charity and the difference they make in the local community.

The one thing that has particularly stood out for me is the organisation’s staff team dedication to put people that use the services first. The staff members work to enable those that use our services to have fun and socialise, whilst also being able to learn new things, and it is clearly a rewarding experience for all.

I am a social work student on placement from Oxford Brookes University, and the work I have been enabled to do during my time at Guideposts has provided me with invaluable hands-on experience working with volunteers, staff, service members and other local organisations. My placement has given me a fresh perspective and more of an understanding of the attitudes, opinions and thoughts of people that are members of the local community and users of our services.

it’s been interesting to see what it means to be a member of a group whereby they are not treated as ‘different’ and given equal opportunities

I feel I have been lucky enough to experience the majority of what Guideposts Oxfordshire projects and services have to offer, from their busy day centre GLADS to their inclusive dating and friendship network Mates ‘N’ Dates, their nature loving #ForestSchool and Dig ‘N’ Grow services to their dementia friendly Lights Up sessions (to name a few!).

My work across these services has meant that I’ve been able to get an overview of the charity’s work as a whole, in Oxfordshire, and develop a good rapport with staff, volunteers and members across Guideposts.Guideposts Oxfordshire services work with people who have learning disabilities, autism, ADHD, dementia and their carers and it has been interesting to see what it means to be a member of a group whereby they are not treated as ‘different’ and are given equal opportunities to socialise and meet new people.

Although my placement has meant experiencing all of Oxfordshire’s services, I have worked most closely with Mates ‘N’ Dates and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the team of staff, volunteers and members. I have been made feel comfortable enough to willingly ask for help and guidance when needed, and I have even felt comfortable enough to take charge of situations with support and deal with them in an appropriate manor when required.

The staff members work to enable those that use our services to have fun and socialise, whilst also being able to learn new things, and it is clearly a rewarding experience for all.

I’ve created great bonds with the staff and Mates ‘N’ Dates members here at Guideposts and although my time on placement is coming to an end in March, this won’t be the last you’ll see of me! I plan to keep in touch with the charity and attend Mates ‘N’ Dates events every so often in a voluntary capacity to continue to show my support. I look forward to seeing how Guideposts develops in the future.

Hollie Jones
Student Social Worker, Oxford Brookes University 2nd Year |
February 2019

Hollie with Mates ‘N’ Dates Members Volunteer Committee, 2019

#GuidepostsCommunity #CareerInCare #Oxfordshire #SocialWorker #ForestSchool #Children #YoungPeople #LearningDisabilities

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