Please tell us a little about yourself
Since retiring I have been involved with several interesting things for example training carers to run reminiscence sessions. For three years I worked as a lay assessor (assessing standards and performance of social service provision). I am a member of the WI, a local discussion group, a walking group. Gardening and design interest me greatly and trying out new recipes for my family.
What makes me happy?
Seeing other people happy. Watching children totally absorbed with simple toys and games, children singing and working in the garden.
What makes me angry?
People who use mobile phones when driving, people who drop litter. People who speak without looking at the person to whom they are speaking. People who struggle to eat with one utensil when two are available!
How long have you been involved with the Social Work programmes at the university? Why did you want to get involved?
I have been involved with the social work programme for five years. The main reason I wanted to get involved with the social work programmes was in order to put the user/carer point of view forward to the professional service.
Which areas of the BA and MA Social Work Programmes have you worked on?
Admissions interviews, readiness for practice assessments, scenarios, training days, collaborative learning initiatives and enquiry-based learning teaching.
What do you enjoy most about working with the students at the University of Birmingham?
I enjoy being with the students and sharing our experiences and ideas.
What qualities do you look for in social work applicants at interview? What makes a good
social work student?
Someone I feel I would like to visit a member of my family or a friend. A person I feel I could share personal information with complete confidence. Someone willing to learn and who shows commitment, to answer questions honestly and admit to not knowing or understanding if that is the case. Listen carefully to service-users and carers and observe closely their body language.
What would be your message to Social Workers of the future?
To be aware that your words and actions can have a profound effect on people’s lives. You must be adaptable to cope with social changes and social work is not a nine till five job.