Please tell us a little about yourself

Profile for Christine, service user and carer contributorI live life to the full whilst I can and after 15 years caring for my mother. I love travelling and trying new experiences such as snow-shoeing during my recent two months travelling America by train and sky-diving during six months backpacking round Australia (aged 62). I do zumba most days and enjoy dancing, theatre, swimming and photography. I love my iPad but spend too long on emails, Facebook and surfing every day. 

What makes you laugh?

 “Would I lie to you” on TV

What makes you angry?

Fit young men parking in disabled spaces outside supermarkets.

Christine "Involvement here has given me a new “career” with opportunities which have been challenging but empowering. I brought skills and experience to contribute but appreciate the investment of training and support of me and the real partnership participation in teaching development which improves the overall student experience."

How long have you been involved with the Social Work programmes at the university and why did you want to get involved?

More than six years and to raise the profile of carers and improve the quality of social workers.

Which areas of the BA and MA Social Work Programmes have you worked on?

Admissions interviews, fitness to practice assessments, small group teaching, facilitating, second marking assignments, developing enquiry based learning.

What do you enjoy most about working with the students at the University of Birmingham?

The variety of opportunities I get to work closely with them and the buzz I get from their appreciation of sharing my real experiences.

What qualities do you look for in social work applicants at interview? What makes a good social work student?

Passion, honesty, realism, good interpersonal skills, possible experience in a related field, confidence in their own judgment, commitment to becoming a good social worker. A good student is dedicated, keen to learn and gain a variety of experiences from the available opportunities, to work hard but keep life in balance.

What would be your message to Social Workers of the future?

Be honest with your clients, use your common sense and listen to carers who can really help your understanding of a situation. Remember - carers are voluntary; care-workers do a paid job.