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Thanking our social work students

University of Brighton social work students who remained on placement despite the risks of Covid-19 are receiving a thank you gift supported by Santander Universities. 

Working with the university, Santander Universities is sourcing hampers from Brighton and Hove’s Barney’s Deli to recognise the students’ commitment to care, despite having the option to end their placement.

The majority of the university’s undergraduate and postgraduate social work students remained on placement in hospitals, care homes and organisations at the start of the pandemic, working with safeguards and at an appropriate distance from clients. The hampers are a small token to recognise their contribution.

Cath Holmstrom, the university’s Head of Social Work said: “These gifts to our final year students who remained on placement during the Covid-19 pandemic will be very much appreciated. Social workers could perhaps be seen as doing work on behalf of society, tackling some of the most challenging circumstances of the most vulnerable members of our society.

“Our students are fantastic ambassadors for the essential social work profession. This is especially the case during the pandemic when unsafe homes have become even less safe due to the need to stay at home, risking isolation and further hidden harm.

“Juggling home and placement responsibilities during this time, our students have contributed enormously to the work of social work teams across the local area and we are very proud of them. We are therefore very grateful to the suppliers of these wonderful gifts but especially to Santander for funding this and enabling this recognition.”

Juliette Wales, an MSc Social Work student, said: “The hamper is a lovely surprise and nice gesture to show appreciation of social work students who have contributed to supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 lockdown.”

The gift hamper is a further contribution from Santander Universities, which on top of a multitude of projects supporting the university has granted permission to repurpose £54,930 of existing funding to the Covid-19 Student Fund and has provided an additional £25,000 for business start-up grants.

Matt Hutnell, Santander Universities UK Director said : “Universities across the UK, such as the University of Brighton, are doing some fantastic work to contribute to the UK’s effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, so we’re delighted to continue to support both students and local communities during this critical time.”

Michaela Myers, owner of Barney’s Delicatessen, said: “Since starting in 2018, we’ve focused on sourcing local produce to serve the community, so to support the work the University of Brighton’s social work students have put in to help vulnerable people in the region during an incredibly difficult time felt like a no-brainer. We feel very proud to be able to thank them in this way,”

You can read more about the experience of staying in placement during COVID-19 through this blog by Hannah Beniston.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

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