Profile for Ruth, service user and carer contributorWhat makes you laugh? What makes you angry?

Since I retired I think I have less spare time than I had before. I am interested in health matters and contribute to my doctor’s patient participation group, the patient forums and local involvement network known as Link. I’m a volunteer with “Welcome” which provides help for refugee and asylum seekers. I laugh a lot, mainly at the daft things I do from time to time. I don’t get angry much, but hurtful gossip will get me going.

Ruth,   "I would like to thank all the staff in the School of Social Policy, for being so friendly and welcoming."

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

I have worked at the university since 2007, when I was approached at a carers’ meeting. I thought the work sounded interesting and I enjoy a challenge.

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

I think my first area of work was small group teaching and since then I have been involved in Readiness for Practice assessment, course development and assessment and admission interviews.

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

I appreciate being valued for my contribution and for the mental stimulation that I experience.

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

I ask myself if he or she would be comfortable with all sorts of people, ready to listen and learn, without prejudice, but not too idealistic.

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

Please be prepared to listen and learn from service-users and carers, involve them in decisions making and leave them feeling you are working alongside them.