The Out4Good (O4G) young people have had the exciting opportunity to get involved in a project with Anglia Ruskin University. O4G placement student Heather explains.
The Service User and Carer Involvement project (SUCI) is made up of service users who are ‘experts by experience’ and who want to use their lived experiences to better inform the next generation of Social Workers who are training at Anglia Ruskin. The young people at Out4Good have a vast wealth of lived experiences, ranging from the care system, addiction, crime, homelessness and gang violence.
This type of knowledge is invaluable for Social Work students, in learning to understand the realities faced by the people they are training to work with. Often this is the first contact they have with vulnerable young people and ex-offenders. After several meetings between lecturers at Anglia Ruskin University, the young people and O4G staff, we arranged the first lecture.
The O4G team worked with the young people to plan the lesson, including how they would share the experiences which had led them to O4G. On the day, both of the young people were up, dressed and ready by 8am, nervous but excited! On entering the classroom, they were both visibly nervous, but the students were extremely respectful welcoming.
Following the lecture, the university students were full of praise and applauded both the young people’s bravery. Both of the young people were elated and felt very proud. They felt that they would like to repeat the process and be involved in the training of future social workers.
Apparently the feeling was mutual – Anglia Ruskin have contacted us to say that the lecturers and students were so impressed with the delivery of the session that they would like the young people to return!
Out4Good is grateful to receive funding from Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund and the Henry Smith Trust.